CRICKET - Warwickshire forced to settle for derby draw in rain-affected County Championship opener - The Leamington Observer

CRICKET - Warwickshire forced to settle for derby draw in rain-affected County Championship opener

Leamington Editorial 9th Apr, 2024 Updated: 10th Apr, 2024   0

MARK Robinson admitted Warwickshire ‘did not feel best prepared’ for their County Championship opener against rivals Worcestershire.

Warwickshire were forced to settle for a rain-affected draw at Edgbaston as a wet outfield prevented any play before lunch on the final day despite the best efforts of the grounds staff.

And Bears head coach Robinson admitted the club’s preparation for the fixture was far from ideal due to the bad weather and the loss of a couple of players to injury in the build-up to the match.

Warwickshire head coach Robinson said: “Full credit to the groundsman to get us out there, full credit to the umpires for allowing common sense to prevail and to start in ideal conditions and credit to both teams who were willing to make do and make the best of the conditions.

“We haven’t been at our best since we got back here, we haven’t been able to quite hit our straps, it’s been quite a tough preparation because it’s been so wet.

“We didn’t feel the best prepared, we’re a little bit disappointed at how we bowled, we grew as the game went on.

“We have better knowledge of what the Kookaburra ball does, when it’s wet it goes so soft which makes bowling teams out hard, you can’t get any type of shine on it, getting conditions dry would be a bonus.”

Worcestershire scored 360 runs in their first innings as Kashif Ali (110) hit a century while openers Gareth Roderick (68) and Jake Libby (38) enjoyed a 77-run first-wicket stand.

Chris Rushworth (3-97), Will Rhodes (2-36), Michael Booth (2-72), Danny Briggs (1-31), Ed Barnard (1-43) and Olly Hannon-Dalby (1-68) took the wickets.

In response, Warwickshire posted 333 runs as vice-captain Barnard top scored with 89 supported by Rhodes (64) and Dan Mousley (62) with Nathan Smith (3-49) and Adam Finch (3-56) the pick of the Pears bowlers.

Worcestershire frustrated the Bears bowlers in their second innings as both Ali (133) and Libby (101 not out) scored centuries.

However, as Libby looked to kick on after registering his 17th first class century, another downpour proved terminal with the Pears on 295-3.

Hannon-Dalby (2-52) and Rushworth (1-35) took the wickets in the second innings as Warwickshire opted to use the Kookaburra ball throughout.

Warwickshire are next in action at home to Durham from Friday, April 12 to 15 at Edgbaston.

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