Patterson-White takes four wickets for Nottinghamshire, but Worcestershire show their resilience
Worcestershire again demonstrated the resilience and depth now evident in their batting in red ball cricket with club captain Joe Leach at the forefront of a second day fightback in their LV=Insurance County Championship encounter with Nottinghamshire at New Road.
Leach struck 84 to become the fifth player to score fifty plus as Worcestershire recovered from 216-7 shortly after tea yesterday to total 436 and chalk up four batting bonus points.
It was the fifth time in the last eight first class games that they have scored in excess of 400 in the first innings – a sharp contrast to their struggles of 2018 and 2019 when relegation from Division One was followed by another disappointing campaign.
Nottinghamshire openers Ben Slater and Haseeb Hameed continued the theme of dominance of bat over ball in a relatively untroubled unbroken stand of 99 from 44 overs.
As in the opening two games against Essex and Derbyshire, Worcestershire were indebted to their middle-lower order for rescuing them from a challenging situation after an opening stand of 140 was followed by the loss of seven wickets for 76.
Alzarri Joseph and Ed Barnard extended their eighth wicket partnership to 114 after Worcestershire resumed on 305-7 with the West Indies paceman staking another claim to be classified as a genuine all-rounder.
Joseph scored eighties against New Zealand and Bangladesh during Tests this winter and followed an important 46 at Derby with his first half century for the county before, on 61 from 101 balls, he lobbed a gentle catch to short mid on off Zak Chappell.
Barnard, who scored his maiden first class century against Essex at Chelmsford, dug in for a 125 ball fifty before he went back to cut Liam Patterson-White and was caught behind on 61.
But Leach, who brought up the fourth batting point with three balls to spare, found an able ally in last man Charlie Morris.
He blocked up an end while Leach mixed belligerence, which brought sixes off Chappell, Dane Patterson, Lyndon James and Steve Mullaney, with watchful defence.
When the 50 partnership came up shortly before a delayed lunch, Leach’s contribution was 49 and he and Morris continued to frustrate the visitors in extending their stand to 81 in 34.4 overs.
Leach eventually was caught at first slip for 84 off Patterson-White to leave Morris 10 not out after defying the Nottinghamshire attack for 67 deliveries.
Patterson-White, who picked up four wickets, said: “The openers have put on a really good partnership there and set the standard of what is come with the batting and hopefully tomorrow morning we can kick on.
“It’s all about standing up and that’s what we have done today. Credit to our openers and our bowlers were really good, especially the seamers.
“They kept coming in, kept trying to hit the pitch really hard and the way we went about it was massive credit to our bowling unit.
“There was a little bit in the wicket, more for me than the seamers, but my job was more of a holding role to let the seamers have a bit of a breather now and then.
“Having a good stint of 40 overs really helps the seamers out and taking a few wickets along the way is always a bonus.
“What is the game plan? If all goes to plan, we are looking to bat all of tomorrow pretty much, set a really good benchmark with the bat and then be really aggressive with the ball next time we have it in our hands.”
Slater and Hameed experienced few alarms against the new ball attack of Leach and Morris and looked determined to build the same sort of solid base as Worcestershire openers Jake Libby and Daryl Mitchell.
Joseph sent down a lively six over spell and Barnard’s skiddy bowling also asked questions. Hameed completed a 136 ball fifty in the final over.