Recent Match Report – Warwickshire vs WORCS Group 1 2021

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Worcestershire left with little solace as they are condemned to Division Three status

Worcestershire 447 for 9 dec (Mitchell 113, Barnard 112*, Haynes 65) drew with Warwickshire 395 (Malan 141, Sibley 80, Rhodes 60, Sodhi 6-89) and 215 for 2 dec (Yates 88, Malan 77*, Sibley 41)

Another determined innings from Rob Yates has helped Warwickshire secure their place in Division One of the County Championship.

Yates, a 21-year-old student with another year of university in front of him, made 88 to ensure Warwickshire achieved the draw they required to book their place in the top six when Championship cricket resumes on August 30.

In partnership with Pieter Malan, he added 139 for Warwickshire’s second wicket but fell just short of his fourth century of the Championship campaign when he attempted to accelerate to the milestone with time running out in the match.

Malan, who came into this match averaging 15.12 in his first five Championship matches, finished unbeaten on 77 to add to his first-innings century.

Qualifying for Division One represents significant progress from Warwickshire. They didn’t win a first-class match in 2020 and finished second from bottom of Division One in 2019. But the appointment of Mark Robinson as head coach, and a couple of astute additions, has resulted in a team with added resilience who play a slightly old-school style of tough, attritional cricket. Tellingly, three of their victories have been achieved in the final hour of games with successful run-chases against Nottinghamshire and Essex especially memorable. Danny Briggs, whose improved batting has complemented his left-arm spin nicely, must be one of the signings of the season.

But it is, perhaps, Yates’ development which has been most pleasing. Tested here by the footmarks outside the left-hander’s off-stump, he again demonstrated the temperament and technique to suggest he could play at a higher level. He played and missed a couple of times and survived a tough caught-and-bowled chance to Ish Sodhi on 30 but he is his club’s leading run-scorer in the competition and went within 12 of being the first man in the land to score four Championship centuries this season.

His cricketing education will continue next week when he is named in a County Select XI to take on India in a three-day warm-up match alongside county colleague Will Rhodes. Liam Norwell and Craig Miles are reserves.

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