Coetzer ton propels Steelbacks to emphatic victory

This time last year the scenario would have been the opposite.

By Alec Swann
Monday, 24th June 2013, 9:00 pm
Alex Wakely's Steelbacks' side have won five consecutive YB40 games
Alex Wakely's Steelbacks' side have won five consecutive YB40 games

One side playing would look like an efficient limited overs outfit and the other would take on the role of finishing, all too often as it turned out, comfortably second in a two-horse race.

But times they have a changed and the roles were reversed emphatically as Worcestershire were given a good hiding in the Yorkshire Bank 40.

The Steelbacks played the part of a professional set-up to a tee and the ones clad in green and black were left to be walked all over, and walked all over they were.

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Unimpressive with the bat and lacking any kind of penetration with the ball, by the end it wasn’t even a contest.

There would probably have been a few - it could only have been a few as the attendance was nothing to write home about - taken aback a touch when Alex Wakely won the toss and elected to bowl.

Setting targets is generally more straightforward than chasing them with the Steelbacks’ four victories all coming via that approach.

But Wakely ignored the factual evidence, gave his attack first use of a fresh pitch, and watched as they worked their way through a callow visiting line-up.

Only Tom Fell, and to a lesser extent Aneesh Kapil, put up much a fight as a combination of efficient bowling and ill-thought out shots conspired to produce a total that was well below par.

Mohammad Azharullah took the bulk of the wickets to fall, showing a good grasp of reverse swing in the process, but it was a solid all-round effort.

The visitors hardly helped themselves with Mooen Ali, fresh off a double century in the Championship, and Thilan Samaraweera, their two best players, sacrificing their wickets with a poor shot and needless run out respectively.

That they had anything to bowl at was mainly down to Fell, who in only his second List A outing, made a mature 55 until he fell to the first ball of the batting powerplay.

A total of 187-8 would usually be classed as run of the mill but it was put into perspective after the interval.

David Willey fell the ball after lifting Jack Shantry over the square leg boundary and Cameron White, looking in excellent touch on his return, chipped back to Daryl Mitchell after an entertaining cameo.

But it was Kyle Coetzer who stole the show as he motored to his fifth limited overs century.

Fed more than enough to get his hands through his favoured offside shots, the Scotsman played himself in before accelerating without taking any excessive risks.

He was given understated support by Wakely, again appearing to be a completely different player when it’s a white ball coming down at him, as the target was reeled in with no dramas.

So a fifth straight win lifts the Steelbacks above Kent into second place behind Nottinghamshire and with games against both to come, they will go into the break between games in really good shape.