CRICKET: Libby looking for Worcestershire to capitalise on fine start - The Malvern Observer

CRICKET: Libby looking for Worcestershire to capitalise on fine start

Malvern Editorial 20th Sep, 2023   0

JAKE Libby was delighted to complete 1,000 first class runs for the 2023 season and is looking for Worcestershire to capitalise on their excellent start to the LV=Insurance County Championship top two encounter with Durham at New Road.

Libby reached his personal milestone shortly before the close and will resume this morning – weather permitting – on 46 not out with Worcestershire 104-1 after a truncated opening day.

He put on 97 for the first wicket with Gareth Roderick who continued his good form with 52 to take his tally for the summer close to 700 runs.

The duo combined effectively in seeing off the new ball, as they have done on many occasions since becoming an opening partnership, and also producing some fluent stroke-play.

Libby said: “It did seam a little bit, and Rainey (Ben Raine) was a threat for them, but myself and Gareth (Roderick) got off to a really good start, a positive start.

“We’ve tried to put pressure on the bowlers all season. It was a shame to lose Gareth at the end but he batted superbly well.

“You can catch a cold sometimes on days like that, when you are in the dressing room for long periods and then suddenly you are out there the next, but we were really pleased with how it went.

“The pitch is a little bit slow, but I feel you can score on it. We are in a really good position and hopefully we can get off to a good start tomorrow morning.

“Particularly first innings, we’ve just got to put ourselves in as good a position as we can and try and pile on as many runs as we can.

“We’ve bowled really well, particularly at the back end of the season, so if we can put a good score on the board, we will back ourselves to certainly get 20 wickets on this (pitch).”

Libby also scored 1,000 runs two seasons ago but has achieved the milestone in quicker time this summer after missing two games with a back problem.

He said: “It is nice to get to 1,000 runs and not needing it going into the last game. I had half an eye on it but good to get it out of the way, and we’ve got two massive games and can really focus on that now and getting the results we need.

“Which 1,000 give me the most pleasure? Good question. Obviously pleased to get both of them and have done this one in quicker time.

“Probably been a bit more prolific this year but both are nice. The fact we’ve had a good season in red ball cricket, and a lot of the runs have been winning runs, has felt nice.

“It will be great to finish off the season really well. We are not afraid to say it. We want to get promoted and that’s the aim for the next two weeks.”

Libby had a slice of good fortune on 43 when replays showed he may have been short of his ground attempting a quick single to Paul Coughlin.

He said: “I looked up and saw it was Paul Coughlin and he is one of the best fielders on the circuit. It felt tight to be honest and I might have got away with one there.

“But I was trying to put pressure on them, and trying to rotate was important on that wicket.”

Libby says Worcestershire’s main focus is on their own performance but that they are keeping an eye on other results.

He said: “It’s hard not to, to be honest. We’ve got half an eye on other games but ultimately all we can do is control what goes on out here, and we are fully aware of that and fully focused on our game.”

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