Wednesday 20 - Saturday 23 June 2018
A late surge of wickets by Worcestershire all-rounder Ed Barnard turned the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match with Lancashire at Blackfinch New Road on its head.
Lancashire’s Australian paceman Joe Mennie had ripped through the middle order as bottom placed Worcestershire were bowled out for 247 in 63.5 overs despite a fine century from Daryl Mitchell.
But four wickets in 16 balls by Barnard saw Lancashire nose-dive from a comfortable 77-0 to 86-5 by the close.
Mennie, who has played one Test and two ODIs, was brought in this winter along with Graham Onions to bolster the fast bowling department after the departure of Kyle Jarvis and Ryan McLaren from Emirates Old Trafford.
The 29-year-old finished with 4-43 from 12 overs to justify acting skipper Dane Villas’ decision to bowl first via an uncontested toss with Jordan Clark (4-56) mopping up the lower order.
But then came the Barnard blast as nightwatchman Stephen Parry, Haseeb Hammed, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Rob Jones were all dismissed for ducks in quickfire fashion.
Worcestershire’s plight when batting would have been worse but for the typical endurance and defiance displayed by Mitchell in registering his first Championship century of 2018.
In the process he moved into the top 10 of Worcestershire’s all-time century-makers in first class cricket, moving level on 31 tons for the County alongside Basil D’Oliveira and Alan Ormrod.
Mitchell had also scored a century against Lancashire in the Royal London One-Day Cup match between the two counties on the same ground last month.
He fought a virtual lone hand until being support by Barnard and Ross Whiteley in partially rescuing his side from 81-5 via stands of 66 and 79 for the sixth and seventh wickets respectively.
Opener Martin Guptill was presented with his county cap ahead of making his Worcestershire debut but he was dismissed for only two.
The New Zealander tried to leave a Onions delivery which followed him as he edged through to keeper Vilas.
Onions’ new ball partner Tom Bailey then bowled Tom Fell (10) but it was first change bowler Mennie who inflicted major damage to Worcestershire.
He clipped the off bail of Joe Clarke (21) and then struck twice in two balls as acting captain Brett D’Oliveira was lbw for eight and keeper Ben Cox (0) nicked a widish delivery to Vilas.
Barnard (21) dug in to help Mitchell attempt to retrieve the situation before he was bowled by Mennie on his return to the attack.
Whiteley, making his first Championship appearance of the season, hit two sixes in his quickfire knock of 32 before he was yorked by Clark who quickly polished off the innings.
He had Charlie Morris (0) caught behind and Steve Magoffin (0) held at cover by sub Saqib Mahmood before Mitchell skied a chance to Bailey at cover.
Mahmood was fielding as a replacement for Hammed who suffered a blow to the finger when fielding at slip attempting to catch a nick by Mitchell off Bailey when on 67.
Alex Davies replaced Hameed in the opening role and shared an untroubled stand of 77 with Keaton Jennings before, on 43, he pulled a Morris delivery and saw Guptill pull off a stunning diving catch at mid wicket.
Parry came in with still eight overs remaining but he failed to trouble the scorers before giving a return catch to Barnard.
His dismissal saw Hameed finally come to the wicket but he offered no shot to Barnard and was bowled for nought.
Chanderpaul (0) then drilled the next delivery from the former England Under-19 player to Pat Brown at point.
Rob Jones survived the hat-trick ball but also fell victim to Barnard, lbw for nough to the final ball of the day.
Lancashire all-rounder Danny Lamb is to become the first concussion replacement in English first class cricket - as his team-mates were put to the sword by Worcestershire’s batsmen on day two of the Specsavers County Championship match at Blackfinch New Road.
Lamb, 22, is to take over from Australian overseas player, Joe Mennie, who suffered suspected concussion when hit on the head by a return drive from Worcestershire batsman Martin Guptill.
Lancashire informed match Cricket Liaison Officer Richard Ellison of their intention to withdraw Mennie from the game and the former England and Kent player gave his approval to replace him with Lamb who was travelling down from Manchester this afternoon.
The new ECB regulations on concussion replacements in such circumstances were brought in this winter in the interests of player safety and health.
Lancashire’s concern was understandable given that Mennie suffered a fractured skull in January 2017 as a Sydney Sixers player when hit on the head in the nets by a shot from Michael Lumb.
Assistant Coach Mark Chilton said: “Joe has taken quite a nasty impact on the side of the head just above the temple, quite a heavy blow. Therefore that causes an immediate concern for everyone.
“At some point tonight he will undergo his concussion tests but at this minute it is just being considered as a head injury.
“He was concious all the time but clearly not very well and pretty dazed by it and his head is sore. He is much better now and has shown signs of significant improvement.
“The way the (ECB) policy is set up is with a head injury and concussion, you are allowed a replacement. We took an early view because of the severity of the impact that we have to withdraw Joe from the game.
“You then have to report this to the CLO (Richard Ellison) and then we try and find a like for like replacement who we’ve got on the way down from Manchester in Danny Lamb.
“There is very clear protocol to follow. That has to be passed by the CLO and he is very comfortable with that.”
On the field, Lancashire suffered a day of misery after a startling first innings collapse in which 10 wickets went down for 53 runs in 22.2 overs as they were bowled out for 130 – a deficit of 117.
Then Daryl Mitchell completed two hundreds in the match as he and fellow century-maker Guptill – on his debut – put on 215 for the first wicket in 33 overs.
New Zealand star Guptill smashed four sixes and 10 fours in his 97 ball century – the first time a Worcestershire player had scored a Championship century on their debut since Phil Jaques against Surrey at The Oval in 2006.
He was eventually out for 111 – lbw to Tom Bailey – but Mitchell went onto reach his second ton of the game from 111 balls with 15 boundaries.
It was the fourth time the 34-year-old had clocked up that milestone in a game, equalling the number achieved for Worcestershire by his boyhood hero Graeme Hick.
Mitchell went onto make 163 from 221 balls with 20 fours before he was dismissed by Jordan Clark.
He added a further 137 with Tom Fell (62) as Worcestershire closed on 361-4 a lead of 478.
The visitors had reached 77-0 shortly before the close last night in reply to Worcestershire’s 247 before losing five wickets for nine runs.
The sorry procession continued today with Worcestershire all-rounder Ed Barnard completing his third five wicket haul of the campaign.
Only openers Keaton Jennings (55) and Alex Davies (43) reached double figures.
Barnard finished with 5-34 from 16 overs and he was well supported by Charlie Morris (3-20) and Steve Magoffin (2-58).
England Test opener Jennings completed his half century off 114 balls with nine boundaries before he was lbw to Magoffin for 55.
England opener Keaton Jennings scored his third Specsavers County Championship century of the season as Lancashire launched a strong response after being set a mammoth 602 victory target by Worcestershire at Blackfinch New Road.
But the home side were still edging towards a first Championship win of the season after the visitors closed on 269-4 with interim skipper Brett D’Oliveira and Charlie Morris picking up two wickets apiece.
Jennings, who was recalled to the England side for the second Test against Pakistan at Headingley earlier this month, profited from being dropped on 50 at first slip by Ross Whiteley off Worcestershire’s interim captain Brett D’Oliveira.
He went to three figures off 166 balls with his 20th boundary – a slice down to third man off Ed Barnard.
It followed on from his hundreds against Somerset and Nottinghamshire last month after his winter move from Durham.
Apart from his one blemish, Jennings was largely untroubled on a wicket offering little assistance and he ended unbeaten on 135 from 215 balls with 23 fours.
Alex Davies helped Jennings put together a century opening stand after the Red Rose county set off in pursuit of their daunting target half an hour before lunch on the third day after D’Oliveira declared his side’s second innings at 484-7.
Jennings and Davies safely negotiated a tricky eight overs before the interval and then dealt primarily in boundaries and were content to mix solid defence with punishing the loose deliveries.
Both registered a half century within one over of each other.
Davies was first to the 50 mark off 68 balls with 12 fours and Jennings followed him there from 97 deliveries with 10 boundaries.
It was only after D’Oliveira brought himself into the attack that the Lancashire duo started to look uncomfortable.
Jennings experienced his let off in D’Oliveira’s first over but he broke through in his next over when Davies on 64 rocked back to play the cut shot and was trapped lbw with the total on 126.
Haseeb Hameed accompanied Jennings in a stand of 58 but after making 20 he shouldered arms and became D’Oliveira’s second leg before victim.
Paceman Charlie Morris then had West Indian legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul (28) caught behind after he prodded forward after adding 50 with Jennings.
The persevering Morris enjoyed another success with Rob Jones (10) also nicking through to Cox.
The home had resumed on 361-4 and added 123 runs in 17 overs for the loss of three wickets before the declaration with wicket-keeper batsman Ben Cox unbeaten on 58 from 45 balls with three sixes and five fours.
Danny Lamb opened the bowling for Lancashire as the first concussion replacement player in English cricket.
He joined the action after paceman Joe Mennie was diagnosed with mild concussion which has resulted in him taking no further part in the game after being hit by a return drive yesterday from Worcestershire opener Martin Guptill.
Lancashire paceman Tom Bailey struck two early blows as he bowled Joe Clarke (10) and trapped D’Oliveira (22) lbw.
Ross Whiteley hit a typically quickfire 23 before he lofted Jordan Clark into the hands of Bailey at wide mid off.
Cox continued the form he had demonstrated in the Royal London One-Day Cup, twice hitting Bailey over the mid wicket boundary and repeating the shot against Clark before the declaration.