Alex Gidman believes Brett D’Oliveira’s sensational performance with bat and ball was the catalyst for Worcestershire’s recovery and fightback in the drawn Specsavers County Championship match with leaders Glamorgan at Cardiff.
D’Oliveira hit a first innings century and picked up nine wickets in the game, including a career best 7-93, and his team-mates showed great resilience and produced excellent cricket during the final two days.
First Team Coach Gidman told BBC Hereford-Worcester’s Dave Bradley: “My thoughts? Mixed to be honest. We were pretty disappointing during the first half of the game, the first two days. Glamorgan played exceptionally well and we didn’t play as well as we could have.
“But the last two days, with the exception of the final session on the third day, we played really well and ended up deserving what we got out of the game.
“It was proper cricket, good cricket. Again credit to Glamorgan. They are top of the table and are very confident and you can see why. They are bowling well and have got some batsmen in good form. You can see why they’ve had such a good season so far.
We knew we had to fight and we certainly did that, particularly in the second half of the game.
“Brett produced an outstanding game of cricket from one individual. He single-handedly kept us in it.
“Sometimes it can take one person performing outstandingly well like that to drag a few others with him and sub-conciously I think that’s what happened.
“We saw one guy play out of his socks and probably gave the rest of us a bit of a lift because we knew we hadn’t played as well as we could have.
“It’s not a question of effort or desire. It wasn’t quite clicking and Dolly showed us how to do it and that gave us that confidence to kick on and to play as well as we did do, particularly on the fourth day and a bit on the third day.”
Worcestershire were set a stiff target of 320 in 66 overs and Daryl Mitchell and Callum Ferguson hit unbeaten half centuries to secure the share of the spoils.
Gidman said: “Was the run chase ever on? I don’t think so. It was going to be too much to ask. The wicket was getting drier and drier and sometimes you have to accept we didn’t play as well and to actually come out with a draw almost feels like a morale victory.
“It was an opportunity for any batsman to go and have some more time in the middle against a good attack on a still good wicket, albeit tiring.
“Daryl and Callum were desperate to occupy the crease for long periods of time and to bat 60 odd overs on the fourth day on a tiring wicket is still a challenge and those guys killed it (the game) off in that first session, the first 20-30 overs of our innings.
“They played extremely well and showed the quality they have and what we are capable of producing when we perform at our best.”