Worcs already struggling to prove bookies wrong

You only have to look at Aintree last Saturday to appreciate that the bookmakers don’t always get it right.

But nothing that happened at New Road over the weekend will have persuaded the bookies to change their view that Worcestershire are odds on favourite for County Championship relegation for the fourth time after just one season in the top flight.

Some bookmakers were quoting odds of 100-1 on Worcestershire to win the Championship and 1-20 on them to go straight back down.

Worcestershire were competitive for the best part of two days against Yorkshire but in four-day cricket it is often the last session on the second day and the three sessions on the third that decide matches and so it proved in this case.

The Worcestershire line-up lacked a quality spinner – well though Moeen Ali bowled – to exploit a dry and turning pitch and their batting came up short for the second  time in the match against Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who took eleven wickets in the match, and all this in the second week of April.

It was a sobering re-introduction to the top flight for Worcestershire, who were relegated without a win two years ago, and extended their poor record in the first division to one win in 38 matches.

“I’m just disappointed in the way we played. It’s mainly the batting that disappointed me. I don’t think Yorkshire were at their strongest,” said Worcestershire’s director of cricket Steve Rhodes.

“Some names were missing from their side and some good players too. We are well aware of the challenges ahead of us and who we have got to play against but this was one that I did quite fancy. I thought, if we played well enough, that we could win.

“Our bowlers did particularly well to have them seven down for 150 but it all seemed to go wrong from that point on. All four of the bowlers did pretty well up to that stand. The catching was good in the slips but the batting was a big disappointment.

“I think if you look through the dismissals, then getting hit on the pad in front of the stumps playing across the line is not a particularly good technique on a flattish wicket.

“Playing straight is the key and we didn’t particularly do that early on. There were some shots where the execution was questionable rather than the selection of those shots.”

Worcestershire now have a week off to attempt to regroup and address their batting problems before they face Warwickshire back at New Road on April 20.

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