Ed Barnard’s Impact: Warwickshire’s Strong Response in County Championship 2024

Ed Barnard showcased his prowess against his former team, contributing significantly to Warwickshire’s solid response to Worcestershire’s initial lead In a thrilling Vitality County Championship clash 2024 at Edgbaston.

Worcestershire old boy spearheaded Warwickshire’s counterattack with the bat.

Ed Barnard’s Impact: Warwickshire’s Strong Response in County Championship 2024

On the second day of their Vitality County Championship match at Edgbaston, Ed Barnard excelled against his previous county as Warwickshire established a solid position in response to Worcestershire.

After the visitors were all out for 360 runs, Barnard scored a smooth 89 off 124 balls to help Warwickshire finish the second day on 292 for 5. The 28-year-old batted with patience and style in his debut red-ball innings against the county from which he was traded to the Bears, hitting 11 fours and a six.

Supported by Will Rhodes (64 from 92 balls) and Dan Mousley (56 not out from 106), Barnard set down a platform from which Warwickshire will aim to put their local rivals under serious pressure in the second half of the game. Taking 20 wickets on a slow pitch that is good for batting will be a tough ask but the home side will be aiming to apply plenty of scoreboard pressure.

On the second morning, Worcestershire came back at 316 for 7, but the outstanding Chris Rushworth (3 for 97) dashed their chances of amassing a commanding score. The former Durham player hit a brilliant away-cutter that Joe Leach edged to Rob Yates at second slip after dismissing Nathan Smith, caught at midwicket.

Before skying Michael Booth to deep point, where Danny Briggs expertly judged a challenging grab in the high wind, Jason Holder provided some late-order thrust. In ideal batting conditions, Worcestershire would have hoped for more than 360 after falling behind at 235 for 2 on the first afternoon.

Yates gave Warwickshire a lively start to their reply, then inside-edged a drive at Leach on to his stumps. The bowlers then struggled for rhythm in the fierce wind as Rhodes and current captain Alex Davies added 65.

Also Read: Luke Procter and Karun Nair Shine Amidst Weather Interruptions

After establishing himself in his maiden innings as captain, Davies was disappointed to be dismissed for 36 after mishandling a short ball from Adam Finch to midwicket. Finch’s next ball was the same, but Barnard helped it perfectly over long leg to get off to a six with the first ball, producing a totally different outcome.

In his 100th first-class encounter, Rhodes reached 50 for the 33rd time, but after sensibly leaving numerous balls behind, he attempted to lift Smith over the cordon, only to find Holder’s hands at slip. The game was evenly matched at 179 for 3, and Worcestershire would have taken the lead with a few more fast wickets, but Barnard and Mousley steadied the ship, adding 69 in 22 overs either side of tea.

When Finch made an LBW call, Barnard was 11 runs shy of a century against his old teammates. The hitter walked off in shock at a call that seemed debatable on the basis of both direction and height. However, he had skillfully taken over Sam Hain’s No. 4 place, which was left empty due to Hain’s personal absence from this game.

Jake Bethell was sent by Smith after he dallied on a second run, giving Worcestershire a late bonus wicket. However, Mousley raced to a half-century off 95 balls and will be back to attempt a first-class century.

Also Read: 2010 ICC World T20 Final: England’s Triumph Over Australia

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