Vitality County Championship
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Edgbaston, Birmingham

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Report: Warwickshire v Worcestershire, County Championship

Day Four

Warwickshire and Worcestershire had to settle for a draw in the Vitality County Championship derby after bad weather shunted a hitherto intriguing game up a cul-de-sac at Edgbaston.

A wet outfield prevented play before lunch on the final day despite the best efforts of the Edgbaston grounds staff.

In the sliver of play that was possible on the final day, Worcestershire took their overnight score from 237 for two to 295 for three. Jake Libby advanced to 101 not out (182 balls), his 17th first class century, before another downpour proved terminal.

Warwickshire’s bowling attack secured one more wicket when Olly Hannon-Dalby clutched an instinctive return catch from a straight drive by Rob Jones.

With the match consigned to stalemate, Libby continued implacably to his ton while Adam Hose enjoyed some time in the middle of his former home ground, restraining his usual attacking game to collect an unbeaten 17 in over an hour.

Mark Robinson’s men will aim to improve against Durham at Edgbaston after missing Sam Hain (personal reasons) and Liam Norwell (injury) at the heart of their bowling and batting during this match.

Warwickshire First Team Coach Mark Robinson said: “It was very disappointing the game petered out on the final day. I think we all turned up on the last morning hoping for an exciting last day.

“We will be better for the outing, as they say. Gary and his groundstaff team did a great job to get a game on but conditions were difficult for the bowlers. I think all the bowlers struggled in the wind and with soft take-off points but Worcestershire’s probably coped a little bit better than ours.

“We haven’t been where we want to be during this match. Our prep was affected because we lost one player the day before the game and another one on the morning of the game. But we haven’t bowled particularly well and it was a disappointing session with the bat where we lost five quick wickets to hand Worcestershire the initiative.

“Liam Norwell will not be available for a while. He has an injury which we are looking into to get a bit of clarity. The good news, if you can have good news about an injury, is that it is not the disc in his back that has been the problem in the past.

“With regard to Sam Hain, I don’t know if he will be available for the next game. We will give him all the time and space he needs.”

Day Three

Rain ended a frustrating day for the Bears in the field on the third day of the Vitality County Championship Division One derby at Edgbaston.

Kashif Ali’s 110 first time round was stylish work, but the South Asian Cricket Academy graduate surpassed it with a gorgeous 133 (128 balls) as Worcestershire amassed 237 for two to lead by 264 going into the final day.

Warwickshire lost their last five wickets for 27 to fold to 333 all out (Nathan Smith three for 49, Adam Finch three for 56). That give the visitors a lead of 27 which they enhanced in highly entertaining fashion as Kashif struck 16 fours and five sixes, supported by Jake Libby (75 not out, 137 balls).  

Warwickshire resumed on the third morning on 292 for five, 68 behind, but their aspirations of acquiring a solid lead floundered as the last five wickets fell in 74 balls. The overnight batters perished to the 17th and 19th balls of the day. Dan Mousley (62, 119) flicked Joe Leach to mid-wicket and Michael Burgess missed a drive at Smith and his off-stump ended up planted in the ground two metres from where it had started.

Smith trapped Michael Booth lbw, Finch’s first ball of the day had Danny Briggs caught at slip and Jason Holder closed the innings with his first wicket for Worcestershire when Chris Rushworth fended off a short ball and Gareth Roderick dived forward to take his 348th first class catch.

Armed with a surprise lead, Worcestershire had 45 minutes batting before lunch and lost Roderick to the 15th ball, caught by wicketkeeper Burgess down the leg side off Rushworth. Then, on a windy afternoon in Birmingham, Warwickshire’s bowlers were blown away.

Libby batted with typical steadfastness while Kashif unfurled the glory. The 26-year-old’s first six, a pull off Booth, left the ground in a westerly direction. His second, smote straight off Briggs, raised Worcestershire’s 100. His third, over mid-wicket off Ed Barnard, raised his own century from 108 balls. Kashif is the first Worcestershire player to score two centuries in a match at Edgbaston since Glenn Turner did so in 1972 against a Warwickshire attack including debutant Bob Willis.

Many other strokes of authority, audacity and high class thrilled the spectators before Kashif fell to a steepling catch by Booth at long-leg. Several Warwickshire players, to their credit, shook the batter’s hand as he walked from the field. A significant talent had announced itself in English cricket. 

Kashif’s brilliance had set a platform for his side to press home their advantage in the evening session, but they were denied the opportunity by rain which closed in to lop off the last 28 overs.

Warwickshire captain Alex Davies said: “It was a tough day. We had plans this morning about how we could get past their total and then go on and try to win the game but it was a disappointing session to lose those five wickets so quickly.

“Credit to Kashif. He has played two wonderful knocks in this match. He attacked us really well and times and then absorbed the pressure when we bowled our better spells at him.

“You can see from the scores around the country that there are a lot less wickets falling and, of course, the Kookaburra ball is a factor, but we have got to adapt and we haven’t quite nailed our skills with the new ball in this game.

“Kashif has shown that runs can be scored quickly on this pitch and we will fancy our chances of chasing any target tomorrow. We’ll see how aggressive they are with their declaration.”

Day Two

Ed Barnard shone against his former county as Warwickshire built a strong position against Worcestershire on the second day of their Vitality County Championship tussle at Edgbaston.

Barnard struck a fluent 89 (124 balls) as Warwickshire, in reply to the visitors’ 360 all out closed the second day on 292 for five.  

In his first red-ball innings against the county from which he joined the Bears, the 28-year-old batted with patience and panache, hitting 11 fours and a six. 

Supported by Will Rhodes (64, 92 balls) and Dan Mousley (56 not out, 106), Barnard set down a platform from which Warwickshire will aim to put their local rivals under serious pressure in the second half of the game. Taking 20 wickets on a slow pitch that is good for batting will be a tough ask but the home side will be aiming to apply plenty of scoreboard pressure.  

Worcestershire resumed on the second morning on 316 for seven but their hopes of building an imposing total were scuppered by the excellent Chris Rushworth (three for 97). The former Durham player dismissed Nathan Smith, caught at mid-wicket, and then unleashed a superb away-cutter which Joe Leach edged to Rob Yates at second slip. 

Jason Holder (29, 46 balls) offered some late-order impetus before skying Michael Booth to deep point where Danny Briggs judged a difficult catch superbly in the strong wind. From 235 for two on the first afternoon, Worcestershire would have hoped for more than 360 in good batting conditions.

Warwickshire’s reply was given a perky start by Yates (26, 39) before he inside-edged a drive at Leach on to his stumps. Alex Davies and Rhodes, present and former captains, then added 65 as the bowlers struggled for rhythm in the ferocious wind. Having set down roots in his first innings as captain, Davies (36, 75) was frustrated to perish when he mispulled a short ball from Adam Finch to mid-wicket. The next ball from Finch was identical but yielded a very different result as Barnard helped it sweetly over long leg to get off the mark with six first ball.

Rhodes, in his 100th first class match, passed 50 for the 33rd time but, having left countless balls judiciously, tried to guide Smith over the cordon, but found only the hands of Holder at slip. At 179 for three, the game was finely-balanced and further quick wickets would have given Worcestershire the ascendancy, but Barnard and Mousley settled in to add 69 in 22 overs either side of tea.

Barnard was 11 runs from a century against his former team-mates when Finch won an lbw decision. The batter departed in disbelief at a decision which appeared to have scope for debate on grounds of both height and direction. He had, however, capably filled the number four spot vacated by Sam Hain who is missing this match for personal reasons.

A late bonus wicket followed for Worcestershire when Jake Bethell dawdled on a second run and was beaten by Smith’s throw, but Mousley motored to a 95-ball half-century and will have his sights set on a maiden first class ton tomorrow.

Warwickshire all-rounder Ed Barnard said: “The game is set up nicely. I think we batted really nicely today, first of all cleaning up their last three wickets this morning without them getting too far ahead, that was really important. Then we batted at a really nice tempo and scored our runs. I think it’s quite an even game of cricket so far.

“It is always nice to start the season with some runs. There were a few nerves around there playing against my old mates, but my batting feels in a really good place at the minute and to get an opportunity up the order is great. It’s unfortunate for Sam, but I see it a good opportunity to score some runs.

“I wasn’t planning to hit my first ball for six! but I have played with and against Finchy a lot over the years and I thought he might be going there with the short one. Luckily it went over the rope rather than to a fielder.

“I was disappointed with the lbw decision but you are always disappointed to get out especially when there is a good chance of three figures. If you’d offered me 89 at the start of the day, I’d have taken it.”

Day One

Michael Booth picked up his maiden First Class wicket as Worcestershire made 316 for seven against Warwickshire on the opening day of the Vitality County Championship season at Edgbaston.

Booth’s first wicket was that of Jake Libby (38) who top-edged a pull shot out to Danny Briggs who took a fine low diving catch at deep square leg. Booth, who has emulated the great Bob Wyatt in making his debut in a Warwickshire v Worcestershire season-opener at Edgbaston, now sits just 900 first class wickets behind the former Bears and Pears skipper.

Warwickshire captain Alex Davies chose to bowl in his first game in charge but without Hasan Ali, whose arrival as overseas player has been delayed by a Pakistan training camp, and Liam Norwell, his bowling attack lacked penetration on a good batting pitch.

Kashif Ali was the mainstay for Worcestershire, making a well-compiled 110 (188), his maiden First Class century, whilst Gareth Roderick added a nuggety 68 (163) as the visitors returned to Division One with a strong day’s work following promotion last year.

Kashif took advantage in composed fashion. Having ended the 2023 season with a career-best 93 against Yorkshire, he has started 2024 in a similarly confident fashion to harvest his maiden ton. 

Warwickshire’s bowlers hoped to exploit early moisture in the pitch but barely a ball deviated off the straight during a morning session in which the only wicket fell to a long hop.

Roderick flicked the first ball of the season to the mid-wicket boundary and, with Jake Libby, put 50 on the board in 12 overs as Olly Hannon-Dalby and Chris Rushworth found rhythm elusive in the strong wind. Hannon-Dalby and Rushworth between them took 51% of Warwickshire’s championship wickets last season but got little past the broad bats of the openers.

While Roderick settled into the anchor role, Kashif batted fluently to score 39 of the first 50 added by the second-wicket pair. Roderick reached his half-century from 112 balls and Kashif followed to his from 92, then celebrated by hoisting Booth into the Family Stand for six.

As Warwickshire went on the defensive, the second-wicket pair added 103 in 40 overs. Medium-pacers Ed Barnard and Will Rhodes made the batters work hardest for their runs and it was Rhodes who broke through when he prised some bounce from the pitch and Roderick edged to Rob Yates at slip.

Rob Jones, playing his first championship match for Worcestershire, settled in calmly to add 55 in 19 overs with Kashif. Jones then tickled a leg-side catch to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess off Briggs and Adam Hose soon edged Barnard to slip

Warwickshire’s bowlers had toiled on the placid surface but they kept going and were rewarded with two wickets with the second new ball. Kashif lifted Hannon-Dalby to cover and when Brett D’Oliviera edged Rushworth behind, the first six wickets had fallen to different bowlers.

Matthew Waite’s lusty 37 (42 balls) restored Worcestershire’s momentum and though he edged the impressive Rhodes behind just before the close, with overseas seamers Jason Holder and Nathan Smith making their debuts, Worcestershire have built a platform of promise in this match.

Warwickshire bowler Michael Booth said: “It was great to make my debut after all the hard work in the winter and it was a really special day for me. It was nice to get my first wicket. The plan worked well…Alex Davies said, ‘try a short one’ and he went for it and Danny took a great catch.

“It was hard work with the Kookaburra ball because they don’t do as much as the Duke’s, but we stuck at it and got our rewards late on. We were a bit off it at the start but dragged it back in the second session and that set us up to take the wickets in the third. 

“If we can get a couple of wickets quickly tomorrow we will be in a strong position. It’s a good cricket wicket. There is something in it for the bowlers but if you miss your length the batters can punish you and it can be expensive.”

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Preview: Warwickshire v Worcestershire, County Championship

Warwickshire First Team Coach Mark Robinson has expressed frustration at Pakistan pacer Hassan Ali’s delayed return from international duty – but is buoyed by the return to fitness of Liam Norwell and the form of fellow quick Michael Booth.

Ali was due to return to his “second home” Edgbaston at the end of March.

But a change of leadership at the Pakistan Cricket Board, plus an extended training camp in Pakistan, means he’ll miss the Vitality County Championship curtain raiser against Worcestershire.

The 29-year-old, who took 33 wickets for the Bears last season, is expected to be available for the Division One trip to Hampshire starting on 19 April.

Warwickshire’s bowling attack will again be led by ageless seamers Olly Hannon-Dalby and Chris Rushworth who took 54 and 53 red ball wickets, respectively, in the 2023 campaign.

Robinson also includes Liam Norwell in his squad to face the Pears – the first time he’s featured in a County Championship squad since his September 2022 nine for 62 heroics – alongside Booth who’s impressed in pre-season.

Robinson said: “It’s been frustrating for everybody, including Hassan, with the uncertainty surrounding the Pakistan Cricket Board. We know what Hassan brings, explosive energy on the field and a caring character off it, and it’s positive we now have a date for his return.

“Liam is in contention for selection. We lost one of the game’s best bowlers for the whole of last summer so to have him back is fantastic. 

“He’s done well, continuing his recovery nicely, but it’s more than 550 days since he last played a competitive game for us so it’ll take him some time.

“And Boothy has had an encouraging winter in the nets. He’s made good progress, did well on pre-season in Abu Dhabi, and has earned the right to be talked about when it comes to selection.”

It’ll be the 196th First Class derby between Warwickshire and Worcestershire – Bears leading with 52 wins to 38 – with the last three matches all ending in draws.

Warwickshire will be captained for the first time in the County Championship by Alex Davies who took over at the helm from former skipper Will Rhodes who stood down last April.

Persistent rain has hampered both sides’ preparations for the new season but Robinson said the excitement and anticipation for the new season is palpable around the camp.

He added: “It’s an exciting time for everyone, for supporters, players and all the staff, but especially so for a new captain. 

“Al’s settled in well to the role. We knew he would after seeing the way he captained in the Blast last summer. He’s got the backing of everybody at the Club and the dressing room is 100 per cent behind him. 

“I’ve seen 39 County Championship opening days both as player and coach and I still get the same buzz. As a player you want early wickets to cement your place. Now as a coach I’m considering my best 11, managing off-field issues, and looking at how best to prepare.

“Last April we had Hass and Chris Woakes available at the start of the season. They’re not around this time but we’ve got players coming back from injury and young players staking a claim. There are always bumps in the road to navigate but we’ve a strong squad.

“Day One is always something you look forward to. You want that first session to go well for you so you can settle into the new season and enjoy it.”

This weekend’s game will be Will Rhodes’ 100th career First Class match, while he needs 18 more runs to reach 6,000 for the Bears in all formats. 


Ed Barnard
Chris Benjamin
Jacob Bethell
Michael Booth
Danny Briggs
Michael Burgess (wk)
Alex Davies (c)
Sam Hain
Olly Hannon-Dalby
Dan Mousley
Liam Norwell
Will Rhodes
Chris Rushworth
Rob Yates

How to Follow

Members and supporters can follow the match live in our Match Centre at, which will include a free to watch Live Stream, with BBC commentary, and a live text commentary. You can also watch replays of all the action.

Supporters can get involved by sending their match day comments and thoughts on X (Twitter) via @WarwickshireCCC and we’ll publish the best ones on our live text commentary in the Match Centre.

Supporters can also watch the Live Stream and get instant push notifications of all wickets, innings and match results via the Edgbaston app, which is free to download on iOS and Android.

Match updates will also be available across the Club’s social media accounts, simply search for @WarwickshireCCC.

2024 Membership: Together, we are Bears

Make Edgbaston your home this summer. Membership is the best value way to access all home Warwickshire domestic cricket in 2024, plus exclusive benefits including free guest passes.

White-ball only and Junior Bears Memberships for under 16s are also available. Find out more and join the Club today.

Buy Membership More Info
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