County Championship: Ben Cox's unbeaten 60 secures draw for Worcestershire against Derbyshire

Worcestershire wicket-keeper batsman Ben Cox
Ben Cox batted for more than three and a half hours to ensure Worcestershire withstood Derbyshire's victory charge
LV= County Championship Group One, The Incora County Ground, Derby (day four)
Derbyshire 390& 312-5 dec: Critchley 84; Mitchell 2-34
Worcestershire 305 &193-8: Cox 60*, Barnard 35; Aitchison 3-18
Derbyshire (15 pts) drew with Worcestershire (14 pts)

Worcestershire hung on for a draw against Derbyshire thanks to a defiant seventh-wicket partnership between Ben Cox and Ed Barnard.

Derbyshire added 44 runs in the first 10 overs before declaring their second innings on 312-5, a lead of 397.

That left them 84 overs to try and bowl out the Pears and they looked well set when reducing the visitors to 83-6.

But Cox (60 not out) and Barnard (35) added 85 in just over two hours before Worcestershire finished on 193-8.

Cox's 148-ball stay at the crease came alongside Barnard's 110-ball effort with captain Joe Leach also digging in right up to the end for a dogged 9 not out from 59 balls.

Ben Aitchison (3-18) and Matt Critchley (3-76) had earlier done the damage to the top and middle order as Fynn Hudson-Prentice (2-38) also chipped in with early wickets.

But Derbyshire could not capitalise on their bright start with Worcestershire, only losing the wickets of Barnard and Alzarri Joseph in the evening session.

Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman:

"When you get so close to winning a game and dominate in the fashion we did for four days it's inevitable we are feeling some sense of disappointment that we didn't win.

"But looking overall to play the brand of cricket we did with the bat and then to bowl in the fashion we did I'm extremely proud of not just the skill but the efforts and endeavour we've shown.

"In hindsight it's easy to say we should have pulled out an hour or so before stumps last night but the flip side is the wicket looked like it had flattened out as was shown when their number seven and number 10 batsman were defending quite comfortably against the seamers."

Worcestershire head coach Alex Gidman:

"We don't believe we've played as well as we could do, however we showed real character and great effort throughout, which in the end got us over the line for an important draw.

"Derbyshire played extremely well throughout the game. They dictated from about 11.30 on Thursday onwards so they probably earned the right to run it as they believed was fit.

"But I guess in the end you could argue that worked to our advantage right in the final hour."

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