Bob Willis Trophy: Daryl Mitchell & Jake Libby rally Worcestershire against Warwickshire

Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell (left) and Jake Libby both passed 50 for the third time in four Bob Willis Trophy matches
Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell (left) and Jake Libby both passed 50 for the third time in four Bob Willis Trophy matches
Bob Willis Trophy, Blackfinch New Road (day two):
Warwickshire 355-9 dec: Rhodes 207, Hain 55, Mousley 47; Morris 5-80
Worcestershire 170-0: Mitchell 85*, Libby 80*
Worcestershire (1 pt) trail Warwickshire (3 pts) by 185 with all 10 wickets standing

Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell and Jake Libby launched a powerful response on day two of the first Bob Willis Trophy Midlands derby after Warwickshire captain Will Rhodes’s maiden double century.

Rhodes extended his overnight 142 not out – already a career best – to 207 before becoming one of five victims of Worcestershire paceman Charlie Morris (5-80).

But Mitchell (85 not out) and winter signing Libby (80 not out) then posted their second century partnership in four matches -plus one of 97 – as the home side closed on 170-0 in reply to the Bears’ 355-9 declared.

Warwickshire had resumed on 228-3, looking to step up the tempo in search of bonus points on a slow pitch, but they managed to earn just three.

Rhodes, whose previous highest score of 137 was achieved against Gloucestershire at Edgbaston two years ago, reached his 200 with a pull for a single off Ed Barnard 15 minutes before lunch.

He received good support from England Under-19s batsman Dan Mousley, who made 47 in only his second first-class match.

Home keeper Ben Cox collected five more catches to take his tally to 22 – the highest in the competition – as Warwickshire lost late wickets in an effort to force the pace in their 120 overs.

When Worcestershire launched their reply, Mitchell and Libby maintained their recent good form as they posted a century stand in 39 overs.

Mitchell was first to 50 off 103 balls with a steer to third man off Oliver Hannon-Dalby before Libby followed him with a single off Ryan Sidebottom, off 122 balls.

Worcestershire paceman Charlie Morris told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

“It was hard work on a wicket which was pretty dead. It hasn’t done much even with the new ball. It hasn’t swung and didn’t seam off the pitch much.

“It is just a matter of being patient for long, long periods of time and I thought we stuck at that task pretty well. We are happy with the way we bowled.

“We’ve still got two days left of this game, we don’t know what the weather is doing, but we can’t look too far ahead. You’ve just got to keep plugging away.”

Warwickshire captain Will Rhodes told BBC WM:

“You’ve got to be disciplined as bowlers on this wicket. It is a very slow wicket and every wicket is earned. The two lads (Daryl Mitchell and Jake Libby) played very well.

“I felt really good at the crease. I’ve had three 40s in the past four innings so it was nice to actually kick on and get a big score.

“It is not an easy wicket to put the foot down on so for me and Dan Mousley it was all about saving wickets for the last 10-15 overs for the guys to go big. Unfortunately we didn’t go as big as we would have hoped.”

Match report supplied by PA Media.

BBC News