9th May, 2021

Special moment for Libby after impressive knock for the Pears

Rob George 15th Apr, 2021

PROLIFIC Pears opener Jake Libby admitted to having a ‘pretty special’ feeling after his 12-hour marathon innings and being on the field for all four days against Essex at Chelmsford.

Libby carried his bat for a magnificent 180 not out spanning three days as the county recovered from being 43-4 in reply to Essex’s 490-9 to total 475 in the drawn encounter.

It was a continuation for Libby of the outstanding form which had seen him finish as the country’s second highest scorer in the Bob Willis Trophy during his debut season at New Road.

His 724-minute knock is one of the longest in County Championship history, and Libby said having the support of Ed Barnard and Dillon Pennington, when scoring maiden centuries and half-centuries respectively at the other end, helped drive him on.

“I think it is the first time I have carried the bat. It is a special game for me personally but a long four days,” he said.

“I’m sure we can find a few minutes from somewhere to give me the record of most minutes in a County Championship innings, but it is a good achievement.

“I have never batted so long! It is pretty special.

“I tried to face each ball as it comes and break it down. Batting with different people excites you, like batting Ed through to his first hundred and Dillon to his first fifty.

“You keep batting every ball and just try and keep going.”

Libby was delighted with how Worcestershire recovered to pick up 12 points against the reigning champions.

He said: “Essex are the champions and probably the best team in the country, with the best batting and bowling line-ups.

“If you offered this result to us when we were 32 for three, then realistically, we walk away from here with a smile on our face, and it almost feels like a bit of a win,” Libby added.

Ed Barnard also scored his maiden first-class hundred as he and Libby rewrote the record books for Worcestershire.

Their 244 run partnership is a new Worcestershire seventh wicket record against Essex and surpassed the previous best of 126 by Graeme Hick and Duncan Catterall at Chelmsford in 1999.

The popular all-rounder revealed his relief at notching up his first ton and his hopes it’s the first of many for the Pears.

“I shouted to Jake as soon as I hit it that there were two runs there. I was never not going to come back for two, and it was nice to get that delivery just on your hip when you are on 98,” he said.

“It is going to be one of those moments in your career that stand out, and that will be a big one for me.”

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