Worcestershire CCC paceman Josh Tongue came in for praise from the LV=Insurance County Championship’s leading run-scorer in Durham’s David Bedingham after their keenly fought battle on day two at New Road.
Bedingham scored his third century of the season, but only after he was given a testing examination by Tongue, and he needed treatment after struck in the ribs by a rising delivery.
Tongue finished with 4-73 from 25 overs as Durham totalled 381 – a first-innings lead of 250 – before Worcestershire replied with 99-3, including an unbeaten half-century from Jake Libby.
Bedingham, who has amassed 787 runs at an average of 71.54, said: “I thought Tongue bowled really, really well the whole day.
“I felt he bowled quite quick and with a lot of energy as well.
“I’m glad I got through it because the ribs were quite sore (after being it), but thankfully the magic spray worked!”
Libby will resume on Saturday morning on 51 after himself moving past 700 runs for the 2021 campaign.
Bedingham said: “He has played well again, so hopefully we can get him out early.”
Tongue enjoyed the contest with Bedingham as he followed up his seven wickets in the game at the Emirates Riverside with another good performance.
He said: “It is a good challenge for any young bowler out there against someone who has scored a lot of runs and for the other lads as well.
“I clicked from ball one. I thought I bowled quite well the first evening and Friday morning and afternoon as well.
“When I’m at my best, I feel I can be quite a good threat. When myself and Dillon (Pennington) are in tandem and both clicking, it’s going to be exciting for Worcestershire and all the fans.”
Worcestershire claimed six wickets during the afternoon session to secure maximum bowling points after being unable to make a breakthrough in the morning session.
Tongue said: “We set out in the morning to bowl our good lines and lengths, and there was a lot of playing and missing, and I thought we were pretty unlucky, to be fair.
“After lunch, we bowled very well to get them from four down to all-out, so it was a good effort from the lads.
“We tried to be as patient as we could with our line and lengths because we knew the odd ball was going to get a wicket, and we got our rewards.
“I’m feeling good. It was good to get through 25 overs.”
Tongue then went in as nightwatchman and survived 23 balls through to the close in partnership with Libby.
He said: “As the nightwatchman, there was a bit of banter flying around. I am not surprised with the position they are in. It was good fun.
“We’ve got to try and dig in as much as we can, play every ball on its merit. I’ve got confidence in the batters to get a big score on Saturday.”