Dillon Pennington says it is time for him to shake off the “young player” tag and produce key performances for Worcestershire CCC.
The fast bowler played a major role on day three of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Derbyshire at New Road, which Worcestershire dominated.
Pennington claimed his 50th first-class victim and achieved his career-best figures of 4-44 and then picked up another three wickets after Derbyshire followed on.
Worcestershire will be looking to complete their first win of the summer, with Derbyshire still 39 runs in arrears with four second-innings wickets remaining.
Pennington said: “It was a great day for the lads. We’ve been working really hard throughout this summer, so it was nice to get some rewards.
“The catches stuck, and nice feeling as a group to get where we want to be.
“Thirteen wickets in the day is very pleasing. We put the ball in the right area for long enough periods, and we worked well as a team.
“Fielding as a unit was awesome, and everything came together out there, and it’s great to be in a really good position in the game running into Sunday.”
Pennington added: “In terms of myself, it’s nice to get some rewards. I was speaking about it at Nottingham, where the team needed me to get some wickets because I hadn’t quite done that yet.
“It was nice to play a part in what hopefully will be a win. I’m probably moving away from that ‘young guy’ (tag) now. I hope I’m moving away from that.
The ‘young’ tag shouldn’t be used, and I should be performing for the team.
“I want to be as good as I can be and perform for the team, and I want to do that in as many games as possible.
“I’ve been working hard in the nets on a few things that I think have helped me in this game, challenging the batters more on that fuller length but from different angles.
“It is nice the hard work has come together. I didn’t play at Durham, and I’ve used those two weeks to work as hard as I can on my fitness and bowling to put me in a good place to play the next match, and that has helped.”
Derbyshire were asked to follow on 151 behind after being bowled out for 270 in their first innings.
Pennington said: “We knew what we needed to do to win the game, and that was to put them under pressure and send them back in.
“We got that wicket before tea and then had a massive session of 40 odd overs, and we’ve all bowled unbelievably well as a unit, and that’s got the rewards.”
Tom Fell produced a stunning catch at first slip to account for Matt Critchley, top scorer with 81 not out in the first innings, when Derbyshire batted again.
Ben Cox and Daryl Mitchell also took some excellent catches.
Pennington said: “Everything stuck today, and that one of Tom’s really topped things off. Their hard work is also paying off.
“The slip cordon has done hours and hours of work since those first few games where it probably didn’t click, and now the rewards are happening.”