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Rhodes is buoyed by opening league win
SHOULD Worcestershire again defy the odds and survive in the LV= County Championship top-flight this term, the 205-run triumph at Old Trafford will no doubt be singled out as the turning point.
Although Daryl Mitchell’s troops, who were the bookies’ favourites for relegation before the campaign began, had not won in eight outings before that impressive result, they had lost only twice as the rain-ravaged English summer saw six matches end in a draw.
However, not only did the 21 points garnered at Old Trafford lift the New Road side briefly out of the drop-zone, more importantly it gave the squad a welcome confidence boost, which should serve them well in their remaining fixtures.
Director of cricket Steve Rhodes paid tribute to wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Scott who battled back from a terrible run of scores to contribute a match-defining maiden century for Worcestershire.
He said: “For Scotty to get a hundred with his form going into that game, but added to that the way he played in very difficult circumstances, he thoroughly deserved it.
“Ironically, I really fancied him to get runs as it was right up his street — some sweep shots and hanging back in his crease to cut and pull the spinners.”
The County boss added: “The win at Lancashire was a really good boost for us — we had found it hard to get a victory in that competition.
“Thankfully, Mitch won the toss, which was crucial, and we read the wicket better than they did with our selection.
“You have still got to do the job, though, and the start Mitch and Phil Hughes gave us was important, but the innings from Scotty and the partnership with Matt Pardoe was outstanding — there was nothing else like that in the game.”