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BUMPY BELIEVES GROWING MATURITY OF YOUNGSTERS KEY FACTOR IN COUNTY SUCCESS

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes believes the increasing maturity and development of the young - and not so young - members of the Worcestershire squad has been a key factor in this season's success.

The faith shown by Rhodes and assistant coach-bowling coach Matt Mason in the possee of academy products in the current first team set-up is starting to reap dividends.

Tom Fell, with his first LV = County Championship 100, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, with his maiden Championship half century, are the latest duo to make significant steps forward in the 234 run win over Leicestershire at Grace Road today.

It was the county's fourth win in nine games, maintained their unbeaten record and kept them firmly established in the top two of Division Two after spin wizard Saeed Ajmal's devastating six wicket blast finished the game in spectacular fashion.

Rhodes said: "The telling thing for us at the moment, and one of the reasons we are improving, is when you've got one of the best bowlers (Ajmal) in the world, that really does help.

"But a lot of our younger ones are slowly maturing a little bit and then the slightly older ones, because we haven't got too many old ones, are getting even better, the likes of Daryl Mitchell and Moeen Ali.

"Generally when you look throughout our squad, we've had good contributions. It's not too long ago Ben Cox got a 100, Tom Fell has now got a 100 and Alexei Kervezee batted really well for a couple of 100s this year.

"You put that together with the form of Daryl and Moeen, when he is able to play, and we are starting to score pretty consistent runs generally because people are just improving a little bit more and slowly maturing individually and it's helping the team.

"There are a lot of other factors. Charlie Morris has come into this side and done really well and formed a really good unit with the other bowlers.

"Gareth Andrew at the start of the season was exceptional, Jack Shantry has been excellent throughout and Joe Leach has come in and replaced Gareth Andrew in the all-rounder's role and done a terrific job."

Not that Rhodes is taking anything for granted with the Championship season only just past the half-way mark.

He said: "Winning helps confidence and it's hard work trying to keep winning games and you need something to keep pushing you on and on when it does get tough.

"Thankfully because we've had some success, then it breeds success and that determination to keep working hard through the tough times to get a win.

"They are learning that at the moment. You can't bottle that confidence when you start to win.

"There are a lot of good signs with the way the lads are developing but we've got to keep it going and I keep saying that.

" We've still won nothing yet and what we want to try and do is make sure we are right in the shake-up towards the end of the year and hopefully we will come away with some reward for the hard work."

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