21st Oct, 2017

Clarke is in ton-derful form for T20

Rob George 12th Aug, 2017

PEARS director of cricket Steve Rhodes has backed Joe Clarke to continue his good white ball form after successfully moving to the top of the order in the NatWest T20 Blast.

Clarke previously struggled when batting at number three in the short format of the game.

But he has been a revelation going in first this summer after replacing the departed Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

Clarke had already hit two powerful half centuries against Yorkshire Vikings and Notts Outlaws before smashing 124 not out off just 53 balls against Durham Jets.

And Rhodes revealed the talented batsman needed an injection of confidence after struggling to keep up the run rate when coming in at three.

“He just needed a little bit of a nudge really in the sense of a bit of backing, a bit of confidence to go out there and hit the ball and use his deflections that he has got,” Rhodes said.

“He can ramp and reverse ramp fast bowlers. But he has definitely got the power game as you can see.

“We just set about executing some plans in practice, working hard at them and it has paid off for him.

“He has got a bit of everything.That’s why when he gets on wickets like that one against Durham and is confident, he is a very dangerous player.”

His exploits have left him in prime position to scoop silverware as the 21-year-old is the joint leader in the battle for this year’s Walter Lawrence Trophy for the fastest hundred of the summer.

Clarke’s ton against the Jets came off just 45 balls on the same day as Nottinghamshire blaster Alex Hales reached three figures against Yorkshire Vikings off Trent Bridge, again off 45 balls.

Now in its 83rd year, the Walter Lawrence Trophy is open to all domestic county competitions as well as one-day Internationals, T20 internationals and Test matches in England.

Should the feat not be beaten, Clarke would be the second Worcestershire player in two years to win the award.

Former Pears batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore scooped the honour last year following his century off 43 balls at New Road against Durham in the Natwest T20 Blast

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