Ravichandran Ashwin guides Worcestershire to Championship Division Two title
This was Ashwin's second five-wicket haul (5/95) for his County club as he finished with 20 wickets in four matches.
Updated - Sep 29, 2017 9:15 pm
While the Indian team secured the ODI series against Australia, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took great strides in his first-class career after he took five wickets to help Worcestershire clinch the County Championship Division Two title. Worcestershire registered a comfortable 137-run victory over Durham on Thursday and has now been promoted to the Division One of the Championship.
This was Ashwin’s second five-wicket haul (5/95) for his County club as he finished with 20 wickets in four matches in his maiden outing in domestic cricket. With the victory, Worcestershire lifted the Division Title for the first time since 2003.
370 to win for Durham
Daryl Mitchell finished with an unbeaten 123 off 134 balls as host Worcestershire declared the innings on 242 for 3. Needing 370 for a win, Durham folded up for 232. Mitchell formed an indomitable partnership with George Rhodes (51 not out) and registered an unbroken stand of 111 in 24 overs. Graham Clark and Paul Collingwood provided staunch resistance in a stand of 88 in 20 overs. But then the wickets started falling like a pack of cards.
Ed Barnard removed Collingwood and Clark in successive overs and Ashwin disposed of Ryan Pringle who was caught off a top edge at square leg. By tea, Durham had posted 148/6 on the scoreboard with 33 overs remaining. However, the end came quickly after the interval.
Leach bowled out Michael Richardson and Ashwin removed Liam Trevaskis (9) and Chris Rushworth (0) on successive deliveries. The Indian spin maestro then claimed last man Graham Onions (15), who was caught at cover before sparking off wild scenes of celebration.
Young Indian spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have shown enough potential in the ODI series against Australia. However, the contributions of Ashwin to Indian cricket is magnanimous. The 30-year old has been amongst the most prolific bowler for India across all formats and the Indian team has done wonders with his presence.