County Championship: Worcestershire captain Joe Leach hits 84 before Nottinghamshire rally

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Worcestershire captain Joe Leach has now made 21 first-class half-centuries for the county
Worcestershire captain Joe Leach has now made 21 first-class half-centuries for the county
LV= County Championship Group One, New Road, Worcester (day two):
Worcestershire 436: Libby 117, Leach 84, Joseph 61, Mitchell 59, Barnard 58; Patterson-White 4-114
Nottinghamshire 99-0: Hameed 51, Slater 41
Worcestershire 4 pts, Nottinghamshire 2 pts
Scorecard

Worcestershire’s lower order helped their side set an imposing target as the hosts were finally bowled out for 436 by Nottinghamshire at New Road.

But Notts openers Haseeb Hameed and Ben Slater then hit back to close on 99-0.

Having been 216-7 the previous day, Ed Barnard (58) and Alzarri Joseph (61) carried on their overnight partnership.

But it was skipper Joe Leach who did the damage with 84, sharing a 34-over last-wicket stand with Charlie Morris, who made 10 not out from 67 balls.

Leach hit his 21st first-class half-century for the county as he compiled his biggest score for the Pears in almost five years, since hitting the second of his two career tons against Derbyshire at New Road in September 2016.

He was the fifth player in the innings to post a 50-plus score – and the third of the morning session after Joseph and Barnard – following the efforts of openers Daryl Mitchell and centurion Jake Libby the previous day.

Although Worcestershire only clocked up four of the maximum five batting bonus points, Barnard and Leach’s ninth-wicket stand of 25 denied Notts full bowling points.

It was also the fifth time in their past eight first-class matches that they have scored in excess of 400 in the first innings – a sharp contrast to their struggles of 2018 and 2019.

Worcestershire captain Joe Leach:

“It is obviously a pretty good batting wicket but hopefully it dries out even more and over the next two days you see the pitch start to misbehave. Towards the end of our innings, a couple did stay low.

“We did well to get ourselves above 400. It obviously puts them under scoreboard pressure even though they have had a reasonable start.

“I’ve had a few fifties in recent times and it was nice to go on and get something slightly bigger. Hopefully I can force my way up the order by just churning out scores.”

Nottinghamshire spinner Liam Patterson-White:

“The openers have put on a really good partnership there and set the standard. It’s all about standing up and that’s what we have done.

“They kept coming in, kept trying to hit the pitch really hard. There was a little bit in the wicket, more for me than the seamers, but my job was more of a holding role.

“Having a good stint of 40 overs really helps the seamers out and taking a few wickets along the way is always a bonus. If all goes to plan, we are looking to bat all day.”

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