Worcestershire Head Coach Alan Richardson said both sides deserve “huge credit” after this week’s LV=Insurance County Championship with Sussex at the 1st Central County Ground at Hove ended in a thrilling draw.
Worcestershire came within five runs of a magnificent victory after being set a target of 386 in 79 overs on Wednesday’s third and final day.
Jake Libby struck a fine 97 to follow his first innings 198 and Azhar Ali a superb second hundred of the campaign as Worcestershire chased their target until the very last ball before closing on 381-8.
Richardson said: “It was a marvellous game, both sides deserve credit for giving it a go on a really good cricket wicket after a really good declaration by Sussex.
“Ultimately it’s disappointing we didn’t quite get over the line having got so close but the boys should be very proud of the majority of what we did over the four days.
“Sussex got the ball to do a bit off the straight at the end so their bowlers deserve credit for that. The ball got soft too and was harder to hit to the boundary.
“Jake [Libby] got us off to a great start again and then I thought we batted well around Azhar Ali.
“He was fantastic, showing all his experience and skill to get us as close as he did.”
Richardson is delighted to have Libby available again after his back injury and he has now passed 500 Championship runs for the campaign.
He said: “It was a magnificent effort from Jake, this is a happy hunting ground for him after his 215 here last season.
“It was great to have him back and in such good touch.”
Worcestershire ended with 12 points – five for a draw, four for batting and three for bowling and they are in fourth position and in the promotion hunt at the half-way stage.
Richardson said: “Both sides have tried to play it in the right way. It ebbed and flowed and both teams had momentum at different times.
“For it to get down to the last ball is huge credit to both teams.”