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Worcestershire tie the table-toppers up in Notts

Worcestershire did all they could to keep their LV=Insurance County Championship Division Two promotion hopes alive by securing a comprehensive victory against Nottinghamshire.

2022 / LV= County Championships / Division 2 / Worcestershire County Cricket Club v Nottinghamshire / New Road / Worcester.
2022 / LV= County Championships / Division 2 / Worcestershire County Cricket Club v Nottinghamshire / New Road / Worcester.

The table-toppers suffered only their second defeat of the season as they went down by an innings and 79 runs at New Road with five sessions to spare.

The Pears side collected the four remaining Nottinghamshire second innings wickets inside 70 minutes yesterday morning as they were dismissed for 183 in 52.2 overs.

Dillion Pennington claimed two of the wickets with Josh Tongue and Matthew Waite bagging one each Worcestershire will now anxiously await the outcome of the clash between promotion rivals Middlesex and Glamorgan.

Worcestershire head coach Alex Gidman was delighted with his side’s display.

“Really pleased with the performance,” he said. “I thought we were outstanding from ball one. Absolute credit to the players. They put a lot of hard work in and got their rewards. Absolutely outstanding.

“Dominated after the first morning? It is hard enough first innings of a game and 10.30am in September at New Road is going to be tricky but I thought we applied ourselves ever so well, tried to do the right things and we got our rewards later in that day.

“Everyone has contributed. Even the guys who failed with the bat, they were great in the field, caught well, loads of energy and enthusiasm.

“I just think the whole performance from every member of the team was brilliant and all contributed to a really good and important win for us.”

“Important performance by Gareth Roderick and Brett D’Oliveira? It was an outstanding partnership, they assessed conditions really well.

“They understood it was tricky and there was going to be a ball in it that might have been challenging but they had the resilience to get over that, and focused on the next ball, and built a really substantial partnership which was critical to setting up the opportunity for the bowlers to put some pressure on the Nottinghamshire batters.

“Gareth had to wait for his opportunity. The beginning of the season didn’t quite go as well as he would have liked but he has bided his time, gone away and worked extremely hard with the second team and got some scores.

“He has clearly taken his opportunity with the bat first and foremost and done a really good opportunity for us with the gloves. It’s been a balance decision, just the opportunity to play an extra seamer and it seems to have worked for us in these last couple of games.

“Bowlers worked well as a unit? They all contributed, all bowled a great spell at times, and they kept the scoreboard dry when they needed to at times. One to 11 an outstanding team performance.”

Nottinghamshire are still strong favourites to seal promotion and will need only a handful of points from the final game of the season against Durham at Trent Bridge.

The destiny of the Division Two title still remains in their own hands irrespective of how nearest challengers Middlesex fare during the next two days against Leicestershire.

This was only their second defeat of a season in which they have played outstanding cricket for long periods.

But victory keeps alive Worcestershire’s hopes of promotion before they take on Middlesex at New Road in their last match of 2022.

After rain had denied them when strongly placed in the previous two games versus Glamorgan and Sussex, they produced an excellent all-round display in sealing a fourth victory of the season.

Nottinghamshire Head Coach, Peter Moores, admitted his side had been on the receiving end of the type of attacking and positive cricket produced by his team for the majority of the campaign.

There was encouragement for the seamers throughout but Gareth Roderick and Brett D’Oliveira (Worcestershire) and Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire) showed what was possible with application and determination with the bat.

Nottinghamshire resumed on 129-6, still 133 short of making Worcestershire bat again, and Liam Patterson-White cover drove Ben Gibbon for four in the opening over.

But Worcestershire needed only 10 balls to make the first breakthrough of the day through Dillon Pennington who yesterday reached 40 first class wickets in a season for the first time.

Nottinghamshire keeper-batter, Tom Moores, was undone by a delivery which hit the shoulder of the bat and ballooned up and Brett D’Oliveira took the catch running around from backward point to shortish third man.

There was more joy for Pennington in his next over when Patterson-White tried to work a delivery to leg and was lbw at 142-8.

Jake Ball struck some blows of defiance in making 20 before he fenced at Josh Tongue and was caught behind.

Roderick then claimed his seventh catch of the game to wrap up proceedings after Dane Paterson played back to Matthew Waite.

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