A second visit to the county ground in Chelmsford in a week, what a treat! The day promised no rain, which meant a bigger crowd than the one that came to watch Essex beat Middlesex.

Tom Westley won the toss and put Worcs in to bat. With Sam Cook away with the Trent Rockets and Jamie Porter presumably injured the Essex bowling looked to be lacking in bite and experience.

20 year old Jack Haynes playing in only his second List A match opened the batting wifi Brett D’Oliveira, a more experienced campaigner. D’Oliveira reached his 50 from 52 balls and his young partner absorbed all Essex threw at him, getting there in 57 balls.

A bit of a scoreboard moan now, while I understand I’m not the captain, taking away who’s bowled what isn’t an improvement for those watching and I do wonder how the captains keep track! I’m trying to write this one as the game goes along, I seem to be sitting in front of 2 Essex pessimists, who can’t have seen their team win, with some ease on Sunday. I don’t now why people need to be so disparaging, especially of the team they apparently support. Wait until both teams bat and all that. (Turns out Essex were batting on a different wicket, or were just rather poor today in retrospect)

After 22 overs Rapids were 143 for no wicket, with Haynes 60* and D’Oliveira 77* There was some excitement when Adam Wheater removed the bails to a Simon Harmer ball, not out however. Ryan ten Doeschate came on to bowl, and was hit for 6 from his first ball. At the halfway mark Rapid were 167 for no wicket. It was hard to see where a wicket was going to come from

D’Oliveira closing in on his century had a scare on 98, a bump ball caught by ten Doeschate. He reached his landmark in the next over, 100 from 95 balls as Rapids moved to 195 for no wicket. Rapids 200 came up in the 31st over, something of a good opening partnership, a lovely 4 from Jack Haynes, taking him to 94. The Essex fielders had an air of dejection about them.

Jack Haynes 100 was achieved with a single, he fairly danced down the pitch! 91 balls for him and a record Worcestershire List A opening partnership. And this was only his second A List match!

A wicket finally came from the bowling of Shane Snater, D’Oliveira went for a big hit and skied the ball. Jack Plom, was eventually under the ball and D’Oliveira was out for 123 from 116 balls, a very fine innings! Worcestershire were 244 for 1 in the 37th over.

Joe Leach was trapped LBW by Aron Nijar in the very next over, Hallelujah! 2 wickets! For 245 runs. A wicket maiden and cheers all round the ground. Tom Fell was dropped out on the boundary in the next over. A decent over for Jack Plom just 4 runs and he should’ve had a wicket.

Fell was caught on the first ball of the next over! Caught by Snater from the bowling of Ben Allison. The drop only cost 1 run happily. Worcestershire were 249 for 3 after 39.1 overs.

Jake Libby, was run out for 3, a great stop and throw by Simon Harmer, a deceptively good fielder for a man who isn’t on the small side! (A wicket for Aron Nijar) Worcestershire were 255 for 4. The pessimists behind? Still pessimistic! (Consider this a rolling eyes emoji)

Jack Haynes was still seeing the ball like a football, hitting 4, 6, running a quick 2 (with one called short) then a single from the next over. Ed Barnard, however, decided not to be watchful of Simon Harmer and was caught by Wheater for 3, a very good catch it has to be said. Worcestershire were 273 for 5, they’d lost 5 wickets for 30 runs but the damage had been done.

Davies brought his 150 up with a huge 6, 4 and 2, highly impressive batting from the 20 year old! His innings came to an end when he was stumped by Wheater from the bowling of Harmer, he scored 153 from 128 balls. It was good to see so many standing to clap him off, as well as Essex players congratulating him. Worcestershire were 300 for 6 with 4 overs remaining.

A great catch from Will Buttleman from the bowling of Allison saw Broderick despatched for 7. Worcestershire were 311 for 7 with 2.3 overs remaining Joshua Dell hit 3 Fours from Allison’s final over and Worcestershire finished their innings on 338 for 7. A more than challenging score!

Essex didn’t have the best of starts to say the least as Buttleman was bowled for a Duck by Morris, on the 4th ball of the innings. 0 for 1, then 1 for 1 from 1, yikes! Tom Westley wasn’t to repeat his innings against Middlesex, a couple of decent shots and he was bowled by Rapids captain Joe Leach for 14. Essex were 15 for 2 in the 4th over.

Michael Pepper was next to depart, another Duck, he was caught by Roderick from the bowling of Leach. Essex were a nasty, 17 for 3. That nasty turned into something of a disaster when Ryan ten Doeschate was trapped LBW by Leach 2 balls later, a third Duck. Make that 17 for 4 after 5.5 overs. An over that saw Leach take 2 for 2.

Amusingly the DLS score after 8 overs was showing as 155, with Essex on 25 for 4. A Four from Adam Wheater brought a cheer, the Essex crowd do irony well. They didn’t have too much more to shout about.

Alastair Cook did his best to put some fight in, batting well with Wheater, but he was out for 42 from 50 balls, he was caught by the sub fielder from the bowling of Ed Barnard. No photos of Harmer, he was out for a Golden Duck, caught by Roderick and Barnard’s next ball could have been a hat-trick ball. Aron Nijar survived that hat-trick ball, an over later, but having faced just 5 balls he was caught by Haynes from the bowling of Baker for just 3 runs.

Wheater and Shane Snater put on 50, this was becoming batting practice, the gap looking just too big to breach. Wheater scored 77 from 82 balls , by far and away Essex’s best effort. But he was caught by Charlie Morris from the bowling of D’Oliveira. Essex were 152 for 8 after 29.4 overs. The Essex ‘tail’ was cleared up for just 4 runs and Worcestershire Rapids had an emphatic win, by 182 runs. We saw two outstanding innings, in particular the 153 from Jack Haynes. A day he’ll most definitely remember!

A great fact from Michael Bishop in a Facebook group, in 1993 in a 4 day match against Kent at New Road, Jack’s father, Gavin hit 150 plus, also playing was Brett’s father Damian and Richard Illingworth (standing as an umpire today). A True ‘Pears’ opening partnership!


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