First Team Coach Alex Gidman praised “a great effort” by an injury-hit Worcestershire attack in coming close to setting up a position to push for victory in the Specsavers County Championship match with Sussex at Kidderminster.
The County fought valiantly to overcome the absence of Wayne Parnell (hamstring) while club captain Joe Leach (right buttock spasm) was also absent for a spell at the same time with Sussex on the ropes at 34-4 in their second innings.
In the end a century from Laurie Evans and 90 from Aaron Thomason saw Sussex through to a draw but they could only feel safe from defeat in the closing stages of their innings after the Worcestershire attack had plugged away gallantly for 121 overs.
Gidman said: “It was a really good performance. We performed well over four days. There are things we could have done better but on the whole it was a thorough performance which is probably what we needed resulting in some really good points.
“But there is a little bit of a disappointment because there was a small chance to go on and win the game. We didn’t quite manage to get in that position but on the whole myself and the group are pleased with the week’s work.
“Was it tempting to go for the run chase? Not as it stood. Had it been 20-30 runs less with four, five or six more overs we would have certainly had a crack at it but we obviously didn’t do enough to earn that right.
“Credit actually to Sussex. I thought from lunch-time yesterday with ball and bat they played very well to start almost saving the game then and credit to them. They held us off and did enough to stop us having a crack at it (a target).
“There were no guarantees we would have gone on and won the game but we would have had a crack at it for sure.
“Laurie Evans and Aaron Thomason both played really well but it was generally two good teams who played a good game which was hard fought. Neither team gave an inch throughout.
“We probably faded just a bit towards the end but it obviously didn’t help losing one bowler and then we lost two bowlers for an hour and a half or so yesterday.
“It was a significant time in the game to be short of two bowlers but to perform the way they did with a bowler down for the rest of the innings was a great effort to still have a small chance after lunch today of winning the game.
“We didn’t quite do enough in that final part but I’m not massively surprised. The lads were going to fade at some stage and we just didn’t quite have enough in the tank.”
Explaining the thinking behind omitting paceman Charlie Morris, Gidman said: “It was more the balance of what we felt we needed for this wicket. We are lucky at the moment, dare I say it before Wayne got injured, that we had some different choices, some different options on the wicket.
“We just felt we needed a certain style of bowler for this particular wicket and we will assess a) what options we’ve got before the next week and if we’ve got a choice then we will try and make the right decision for that wicket.
“We know how hard county cricket is. There is no harm a bowler having a rest although it wasn’t a planned rest. That’s how it has turned out for Charlie.
“He’s had a week in the gym and bowled really well in the nets and revisited a few drills and some stuff he needs to do away from match time. It has probably worked out for the best.”