Worcestershire v Sussex, New Road, 4th day September 16, 2010

Twin tons secure Worcestershire's promotion

George Dobell at New Road
27

Worcestershire 201 for 9 dec. and 306 for 6 beat Sussex 237 and 264 for 4 dec. by four wickets
Scorecard

Worcestershire will be playing Division One cricket next season after a remarkable last day run-chase snatched an unlikely promotion. But it was not only the worn pitch and demanding target that they defied.

It was also the departure of five of their senior players and a crippling financial problem that has forced them to cut their cricket budget to the bone. Their promotion is little short of miraculous. Just five weeks ago to the day, Vikram Solanki resigned the Worcestershire captaincy after a crushing defeat at Colwyn Bay. At the time, Worcestershire were still 37 points adrift of Glamorgan. Few even considered the possibility of promotion.

But, since Daryl Mitchell assumed the captaincy, Worcestershire have enjoyed remarkable success. They have won three and drawn one of their four championship games under his command (it's seven wins out of nine in all competitions) and, in all, have won four of their last six games.

Some, particularly Glamorgan supporters, may feel aggrieved by this result. Certainly, Worcestershire served up some declaration bowling to gift Sussex 106 runs in nine overs and set-up the declaration.

Yet the eventual requirement - 301 from 70 overs - still favoured Sussex. The pitch, twice used this season, offered variable bounce to the seamers and generous turn to the spinners. Worcestershire shouldn't really have even gone close.

But there is a fearlessness in youth. And, in the form of Moeen Ali and James Cameron, Worcestershire have two talented, young cricketers who seem to thrive in such moments. It bodes well for their future and the future of their team.

Both men scored centuries. They took the attack the Sussex bowling with such alacrity, that they scored 200 in the afternoon session and paved the way to victory with almost 15 overs in hand. An anxious wait followed to see whether Glamorgan could engineer a victory over Derbyshire but, when the result came through, it precipitated rapturous celebrations at New Road. Thoroughly deserved they were, too.

It was surely fitting that it was two young cricketers who should have set up this victory. Worcestershire's success this season has, largely, been built upon the excellence of youngsters such as Moeen, Alexei Kervezee, Richard Jones and Daryl Mitchell, who at 26, is hardly a veteran.

Moeen batted gloriously. At times, none of the bowlers had any answer to his strokeplay as he displayed a range of stoke and sweetness of timing that was more than a little reminiscent of David Gower. Jimmy Anyon for punished for four consecutive boundaries, while Luke Wright was hit out of the attack with something approaching disdain. Monty Panesar, despite conditions he should have savoured, was driven to distraction and cut to ribbons. Moeen scored 99 between lunch and tea and reached his century from just 106 deliveries.

The comparison to Gower isn't entirely positive, of course. It also means that Moeen is sometimes loose outside off stump and there were moments, early in his innings, when he was fortunate to survive. He escaped edges through the slips on 23 and 26 and, had Ben Brown at short-leg responded more quickly, might also have been caught on 54.

But there's substance behind the style. Moeen finishes this campaign as Worcestershire's leading run-scorer in the championship and T20 and surely faces a winter with the England Lions.

Cameron was impressive, too. This, his maiden first-class century, also came in his first game as an opening batsman. He looked secure against all bowling and, in skipping down the pitch to deposit Panesar for two straight sixes in the same over, demonstrated pleasing self-confidence and a wide range of strokes.

Sussex weren't at their best. Maybe it was the fact that they were already assured of promotion, or may it was the after effects of the previous night's celebrations, but both with the ball and in the field, they appeared jaded. Panesar finished with 52 championship wickets but, on this surface, will be disappointed both not to have taken more and to have conceded more than four an over.

Worcestershire stuttered with the winning line within grasp, but they were not to be denied. Their four-wicket victory was their seventh championship success of the season and means, one year after being relegated without a win to their name, they are back up among the best sides in the land. The fact that six of the nine Division One sides are the owners of Test grounds, speaks volumes about the uneven battle that lies ahead.

Afterwards Worcestershire's director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, credited his side's spirit for their success. Suggesting that the departure of the bigger name players may not have done the club any harm in the long run, Rhodes also warned supporters not to expect any recruitment this winter.

"At the start of the season, everyone was tipping us to finish bottom," Rhodes said. "So this is a great effort and I'm very proud of them. A good spirit in the dressing room is massive. It's your 12th man. We've had hurdles [to that] in the past. But now we have lads who enjoy eachothers' company and enjoy playing together. It's like Shakib said: everyone here comes in willing to work and determined to improve.

"It's important that people understand that next season is about consolidation. It will be very tough, but if we can stay up then perhaps there will be a bit more money around in a year or two.

"There's no funding. Unfortunately we will not have the finances to improve the squad in any way. We should be able to afford an overseas player, but it won't be a top-notcher. [In Division One] we'll have to rely on the guys who got us here."

It is true that challenges lie ahead. Worcestershire's record - they have been promoted three times and relegated twice in the last five years - suggests that life in Division One may prove desperately tough, while the club's financial position remains precarious. Survival remains the goal.

But such worries can wait. For now, Worcestershire deserve their celebrations. In the circumstances, their promotion is an excellent achievement and their team contains a couple of players with very bright futures.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rydwan78 on September 20, 2010, 4:47 GMT

    Well done Wocstershire. The report should mention Sakib name.

  • on September 17, 2010, 22:30 GMT

    Congratulations to Worcestershire. It was a remarkable match. I am happy for shakib to be a part of it. Worcestshire gave him a chance and he showed his worth. Not much with the bat but he bowled superbly. Hope Worcestshire will pick him for next year. If he gets a bigger team he might end up being a bench warmer.

    Shakib didn't contribute much in their last match that's why he wasn't mentioned in the article. But whenever he did, was heavily praised in the articles.

  • on September 17, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    That was not a match report....Why dont you guys.read it again !!!!

  • Ronita on September 17, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Monty should spend some time to learn how to bowl during crucial juncture of the game. Infact he should bowl every ball as if batsman going to hit it to win the game. Best luck to him if he is selected for Ashes!

  • h313 on September 17, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    i see the report and some reaction about sakib and his performance.i wonder how people can be so ungratefull.if they mentioned sakib name what would have happened anyway.some people are saying its a match report but its not.it talks about how Mitchel captaincy helped the team,their performance of last 4/6 matches.but they are shy to mentioned sakib name who has played last 8 games which wocestershire won 4 of them.anyway we all know how the team was playing before sakib and after sakib.to mention sakib's name in a 2000 words is it too much to ask?it does not surprise me of the attitude of cricinfo towards BD players.i have been very vocal about that but they never published my comments.even now i am in doubt.however to acknowledge someone's contribution you need to have a bigger chest which some people are lacking off.

  • nislam4 on September 17, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    Was it just a match report? See below and realize why some BD supporters are complaining:

    "Worcestershire's success this season has, largely, been built upon the excellence of youngsters such as Moeen, Alexei Kervezee, Richard Jones and Daryl Mitchell, who at 26, is hardly a veteran."

  • on September 17, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Congratulation to Worcestershire. I've never been a County Cricket fan before Sakib joined Worcestershire. Sakib's contribution through out the season definitely helped Worcestershire's Promotion. I think whoever followed or watched the matches will believe it. It does not really matter 'This Match Report' includes his name or not. I wonder why someone asked to deal with Sakib's performance of this match. Lets ask back to deal with the whole season's performance.

  • CricketingStargazer on September 17, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    A remarkable promotion, although one has to suspect that Worcestershire's stay in Division 1 will be as short and embarassing as the last one was. Is this promotion an honour that they would have preferred to have just missed-out on?? Glamorgan will undoubtedly feel cheated, having looked bankers for promotion even two days ago and fallen victim to some horse-trading over which they had no control. However, for Worcestershire to survive all that has happened *AND* get promoted in what was an extremely competitive division this year was nothing short of miraculous.

  • Bass_Man on September 17, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    Well done Wocstershire. Amazing effort by the whole team and management. The turning point for me was when Shakib joined and Solanki resigned. Division 2 is not given that much of a focus by the media as compared with Division 1. So Shakib being in the articles will also be less emphasized. However if it wasnt for Shakib's 7 wickets in the last game, the team would not be even thinking of a promotion.

  • ishteeliton on September 17, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    I don't know why Emdad Haque is fussy about mentioning the name of Sakib. Yes we understand that he does not have much contribution in this match. If you see the heading of the article, it talks about the promotion of Worcestershire. Mr EH don't you think that the overall performance of Sakib helped his team to come up to this position? Contribution of two player mentioned in the article would not have defamed if name of sakib was included. Any way It was a team effort in the END. Well done boys.

  • rydwan78 on September 20, 2010, 4:47 GMT

    Well done Wocstershire. The report should mention Sakib name.

  • on September 17, 2010, 22:30 GMT

    Congratulations to Worcestershire. It was a remarkable match. I am happy for shakib to be a part of it. Worcestshire gave him a chance and he showed his worth. Not much with the bat but he bowled superbly. Hope Worcestshire will pick him for next year. If he gets a bigger team he might end up being a bench warmer.

    Shakib didn't contribute much in their last match that's why he wasn't mentioned in the article. But whenever he did, was heavily praised in the articles.

  • on September 17, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    That was not a match report....Why dont you guys.read it again !!!!

  • Ronita on September 17, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Monty should spend some time to learn how to bowl during crucial juncture of the game. Infact he should bowl every ball as if batsman going to hit it to win the game. Best luck to him if he is selected for Ashes!

  • h313 on September 17, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    i see the report and some reaction about sakib and his performance.i wonder how people can be so ungratefull.if they mentioned sakib name what would have happened anyway.some people are saying its a match report but its not.it talks about how Mitchel captaincy helped the team,their performance of last 4/6 matches.but they are shy to mentioned sakib name who has played last 8 games which wocestershire won 4 of them.anyway we all know how the team was playing before sakib and after sakib.to mention sakib's name in a 2000 words is it too much to ask?it does not surprise me of the attitude of cricinfo towards BD players.i have been very vocal about that but they never published my comments.even now i am in doubt.however to acknowledge someone's contribution you need to have a bigger chest which some people are lacking off.

  • nislam4 on September 17, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    Was it just a match report? See below and realize why some BD supporters are complaining:

    "Worcestershire's success this season has, largely, been built upon the excellence of youngsters such as Moeen, Alexei Kervezee, Richard Jones and Daryl Mitchell, who at 26, is hardly a veteran."

  • on September 17, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Congratulation to Worcestershire. I've never been a County Cricket fan before Sakib joined Worcestershire. Sakib's contribution through out the season definitely helped Worcestershire's Promotion. I think whoever followed or watched the matches will believe it. It does not really matter 'This Match Report' includes his name or not. I wonder why someone asked to deal with Sakib's performance of this match. Lets ask back to deal with the whole season's performance.

  • CricketingStargazer on September 17, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    A remarkable promotion, although one has to suspect that Worcestershire's stay in Division 1 will be as short and embarassing as the last one was. Is this promotion an honour that they would have preferred to have just missed-out on?? Glamorgan will undoubtedly feel cheated, having looked bankers for promotion even two days ago and fallen victim to some horse-trading over which they had no control. However, for Worcestershire to survive all that has happened *AND* get promoted in what was an extremely competitive division this year was nothing short of miraculous.

  • Bass_Man on September 17, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    Well done Wocstershire. Amazing effort by the whole team and management. The turning point for me was when Shakib joined and Solanki resigned. Division 2 is not given that much of a focus by the media as compared with Division 1. So Shakib being in the articles will also be less emphasized. However if it wasnt for Shakib's 7 wickets in the last game, the team would not be even thinking of a promotion.

  • ishteeliton on September 17, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    I don't know why Emdad Haque is fussy about mentioning the name of Sakib. Yes we understand that he does not have much contribution in this match. If you see the heading of the article, it talks about the promotion of Worcestershire. Mr EH don't you think that the overall performance of Sakib helped his team to come up to this position? Contribution of two player mentioned in the article would not have defamed if name of sakib was included. Any way It was a team effort in the END. Well done boys.

  • on September 17, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    well done worcestershire.good luck next year.it's a excellent team work.now there are so many supporters of you in bangladesh.you can utilize it. We are proud of you and sakib al hasan.I think tamim iqbal is also well qualified player to play in worcestershire.

  • ahmedpasha on September 17, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    I am ecstatic, excited that a bangladeshi player is now the part of the success of a county side. Worchestershire management should be proud that their number of supportes around the world suddenly increased upto 140 million. Wish they come to Bangladesh to play few matches. Best of luck for the coming Div1 matches.

  • on September 17, 2010, 4:46 GMT

    Grge Dobel.....What a shame!!!! shit man.....

  • on September 17, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    I don't understand why people are talking about Shakib Al Hasan? He did nothing in this match. By the way cricket is a game of 11 player. Not one. People are complaining about Shakib's name didn't pop up. How many name do you see up there???? 4 or 5 may be. Why don't you talk about other players? Shakib didn't perform well in this match.....Deal with it. Just look at the score card. Royals won this match because of team effort. Royals are in Div 1 now. It's not because of Shakib only. He played a small part in it. People saying "horrible journalism"...I don't agree with you. Let me quote one line from the bulletin of day 3......"the arrival of allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has significantly strengthened them." Are you still going to say " Biased reporting"???

  • lodger67 on September 17, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    To all who decry this article for it's failure to mention Shakib. Folks, this is a MATCH REPORT, not a season report. Shakib in htis particular match got ZERO wickets and only 32 runs from two completed innings. If the journalist was supposed to be doing a full account of their season, then yes he should cover Shakib's crucial role in the team's success, but that is not his job here. Give the guy a break.

  • SirBobJones on September 17, 2010, 2:17 GMT

    What's with the ridiculous bias towards sub-continental players throughout all postings on Cricinfo? Shakib wasn't mentioned because he took 0/13 and 0/12 and scored 18 and 14, while teammates of his took multiple wicket hauls and scored centuries. It's nothing to do with being from Bangladesh or part of some minority group. Despite being an exceptional player for Bangladesh, his performance wasn't as good as theirs on this occasion. Deal with it.

  • on September 17, 2010, 1:31 GMT

    Why there is nothing about Shakib's performance when the best match figure (8/102 ) and the best innings figure (7/32) for Wocestershire have been performed by him?@ Mr.George Dobell,plz check the records before writing your article .

  • on September 17, 2010, 0:17 GMT

    I am so sad to read this kind of article, because here no respect for real hero. Dear friend's can you remember from when Worcestershire comes in fight. Just refresh your mind you will see when Shakibul Hassan join with team, they start fighting. before joining of Shakibul Hassan Worcestershire were at the bottom of the point table. After joining of our hero Worcestershire start winning, and they won 7 in 8 matches, and Shakibul got 35 wicket from that 8 matches. I wanna note that, Shakibul makes two match win only by his won performance, and his performance were the vital point for wining of many other matches. Last match was unlucky for him but, if Worcestershire dont respect him as he done, he can lose his way. You guys will be happy to know that this Worcestershire club was unknown to us, but now after joining of our hero it becomes a pert of our life. Go on Worcestershire, well done Shakib, We are proud of you.

  • Philly.rocks on September 17, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    Congratulation to Worcestershire for the brilliant achievement. Normally I dont follow county cricket. Besides Bangla, I am a big fan of Sachin. But this year I have been following county cricket division 2 match by match just because they had Shakib. At the starting of the season I have read couple of articles fearing their worst possible result as they lost some key players and without proven internationals until Shakib joined there lately. But they proved all the predictions wrong. What a spirit they have shown! Young Kervezee, Moin Ali and Mitchel were instrumental. When Shakib joined the team bowling line up strengthen significantly and his spin bowling earned win single handedly in couple occasion. So hats off to an excellent performance. And if they have Tamim and one good domestic fast bowler then they can threaten any team in division 1. Good luck to Worcestershire!

  • on September 16, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Great win Worcestershire. An all-round team effort and a marvellous end to the season after a disappointing first-half of the season.

  • on September 16, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    Absolutely wonderful. A Worcestershire supporter for 25 years and feared for the worse, but this group of lads have performed admirably. Yes, thank you to Shakib for your efforts, but this was a team effort and full credit must go to the lads who have done the business throughout the season. Moeen and Kervezee in particular look class while Mitchell has finally come to the party. An honourable mention for the old pro Richardson. If Shakib could come back next year (not sure about his international commitments) it would be fantastic and if only we could have two overseas players then I'd be more than happy to see Tamim play for the Pears, Shawkot, maybe for the T20! WELL DONE LADS, bring on the big boys next season!!

  • Shajadul on September 16, 2010, 21:07 GMT

    I agree that if Tamim Iqbal is available in that part of season, he'll be a great inclusion to Works team as they are promoted to Div I now. Along with Sakib, Daryl Mitchell and Moyeen has played well for the team.

  • on September 16, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    why you ppl dont mention Sakib's contibution..such a stupid article..

  • on September 16, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    Shakib Al Hasan's team made it! What a thrill it was!

  • realredbaron on September 16, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    The cricketer who made this possible is Shakib Al Hasan and there is absolutely no mention of his contribution in this article! Horrible journalism.

  • on September 16, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    Very surprised to see no mention of Shakib in the entire article even when he was quite instrumental in Worcs promotion to Division one.

  • on September 16, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    What a grate performance by Worcestershire. Specially Daryl Mitchell ,Moin Ali. They lead the team. also shakib is also a big turning point for Worcestershire. who has also some credit to win some matches.but i must say, its a team spirit. Hope later in future, this team will play very very well in next season in division one. 170 millions of supporter and their wishes for Worcestershire and Shakib Al hasan. I have a suggestion, If Wocestershire think about Tamim Iqbal.. I heartly belive it will bring very good and strong batting lineup for them.

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  • on September 16, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    What a grate performance by Worcestershire. Specially Daryl Mitchell ,Moin Ali. They lead the team. also shakib is also a big turning point for Worcestershire. who has also some credit to win some matches.but i must say, its a team spirit. Hope later in future, this team will play very very well in next season in division one. 170 millions of supporter and their wishes for Worcestershire and Shakib Al hasan. I have a suggestion, If Wocestershire think about Tamim Iqbal.. I heartly belive it will bring very good and strong batting lineup for them.

  • on September 16, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    Very surprised to see no mention of Shakib in the entire article even when he was quite instrumental in Worcs promotion to Division one.

  • realredbaron on September 16, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    The cricketer who made this possible is Shakib Al Hasan and there is absolutely no mention of his contribution in this article! Horrible journalism.

  • on September 16, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    Shakib Al Hasan's team made it! What a thrill it was!

  • on September 16, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    why you ppl dont mention Sakib's contibution..such a stupid article..

  • Shajadul on September 16, 2010, 21:07 GMT

    I agree that if Tamim Iqbal is available in that part of season, he'll be a great inclusion to Works team as they are promoted to Div I now. Along with Sakib, Daryl Mitchell and Moyeen has played well for the team.

  • on September 16, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    Absolutely wonderful. A Worcestershire supporter for 25 years and feared for the worse, but this group of lads have performed admirably. Yes, thank you to Shakib for your efforts, but this was a team effort and full credit must go to the lads who have done the business throughout the season. Moeen and Kervezee in particular look class while Mitchell has finally come to the party. An honourable mention for the old pro Richardson. If Shakib could come back next year (not sure about his international commitments) it would be fantastic and if only we could have two overseas players then I'd be more than happy to see Tamim play for the Pears, Shawkot, maybe for the T20! WELL DONE LADS, bring on the big boys next season!!

  • on September 16, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Great win Worcestershire. An all-round team effort and a marvellous end to the season after a disappointing first-half of the season.

  • Philly.rocks on September 17, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    Congratulation to Worcestershire for the brilliant achievement. Normally I dont follow county cricket. Besides Bangla, I am a big fan of Sachin. But this year I have been following county cricket division 2 match by match just because they had Shakib. At the starting of the season I have read couple of articles fearing their worst possible result as they lost some key players and without proven internationals until Shakib joined there lately. But they proved all the predictions wrong. What a spirit they have shown! Young Kervezee, Moin Ali and Mitchel were instrumental. When Shakib joined the team bowling line up strengthen significantly and his spin bowling earned win single handedly in couple occasion. So hats off to an excellent performance. And if they have Tamim and one good domestic fast bowler then they can threaten any team in division 1. Good luck to Worcestershire!

  • on September 17, 2010, 0:17 GMT

    I am so sad to read this kind of article, because here no respect for real hero. Dear friend's can you remember from when Worcestershire comes in fight. Just refresh your mind you will see when Shakibul Hassan join with team, they start fighting. before joining of Shakibul Hassan Worcestershire were at the bottom of the point table. After joining of our hero Worcestershire start winning, and they won 7 in 8 matches, and Shakibul got 35 wicket from that 8 matches. I wanna note that, Shakibul makes two match win only by his won performance, and his performance were the vital point for wining of many other matches. Last match was unlucky for him but, if Worcestershire dont respect him as he done, he can lose his way. You guys will be happy to know that this Worcestershire club was unknown to us, but now after joining of our hero it becomes a pert of our life. Go on Worcestershire, well done Shakib, We are proud of you.