All-rounder Ed Barnard has faith in the Worcestershire CCC batting line-up to stand up and be counted when facing up to another challenging position on day three of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with champions Essex at New Road.
Worcestershire will resume on Saturday on 37-0 in their first innings in reply to Essex’s 561-8 declared.
The County’s openers Daryl Mitchell and Jake Libby stayed solid for 16 overs during the final hour on a sluggish pitch.
Barnard, who bowled 30 overs for just 59 runs, said: “The bounce here doesn’t tend to go up. It tends to go down if it does anything, but all our lads are well accustomed to that. We’ve played enough cricket to know that it can do that, so we’ve got to play nice and straight.
“I thought Daryl (Mitchell) and Jake (Libby) did an excellent job tonight. It was a significant period, and they showed us how to play on there against both an excellent seam attack and Simon Harmer, who will be a major threat.
“It’s the third or fourth game this season where we’ve been in the same position, but I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s a good wicket to bat on, so there are runs out there to be had.
“It will be good for a few of our lads to get in and get some big scores, and hopefully Daryl and Jake can kick on from tonight and then we can go from there.”
Worcestershire stuck at their task with the ball despite it being the fourth day out of seven where they’ve been in the field for virtually the entire day.
Barnard said: “We’ve had a few hard slogs this season and went close to the 174 overs we bowled last week versus Nottinghamshire and at Chelmsford in the first game.
“But I thought the lads stuck at it really well. Everyone bowled well again. We kept the run rate down to three again, which is our aim for the season.
“The boys kept coming in. I thought Dillon Pennington was excellent today and deserved a bit more than he got. He bowled an excellent spell this morning.
“We battled through and was challenging. It wasn’t conducive to bowling, but we stuck at and made that good start with the bat.
“There are different plans at different times but, as long as you are sticking to them, sometimes it may be bowling at fourth or fifth stumps, sometimes it may be a little straighter, then that is fine, and I think we’ve been brilliant at it this season.
“At no point did we feel we’d lost control. Although some big scores are being scored, we don’t feel like games are getting away from us, and we still feel like we are controlling the scorecard and staying in the hunt.
“The wickets haven’t come as quickly as we would have liked this season but, if we keep doing the right things, I am sure they will.”