Alex Gidman was delighted with the contributions of young talents Jack Haynes and Dillon Pennington as Worcestershire defeated Derbyshire by an innings and 23 runs in the LV=Insurance County Championship match at New Road.
Haynes hit a superb 97 in Worcestershire’s innings of 421, and then Pennington had match figures of 33.4-8-76-9 as Derbyshire were bowled out for 270 and 128.
The duo were part of an outstanding team performance with bat and ball and in the field as Worcestershire reignited their hopes of finishing in the top two in Group 1.
Gidman said: “I’m really proud of the boys. It’s been a challenging season for many different reasons, and the hard work that the players have been putting in has paid off today.
“They’ve been exceptional for the whole seven-eight weeks, and they thoroughly deserved this victory.
“Everything went to plan, which is nice. It doesn’t always happen. I thought the guys batted well on day one and put some pressure back on the Derbyshire bowlers.
“Jack (Haynes) was superb again, and there were some outstanding partnerships with Brett (D’Oliveira), and Ed (Barnard) contributed again towards the end as well.
“The bowlers took over and went to work. We knew it was going to be hard in that first innings, but, as we went through the game, we thought things might turn slowly – as they did.”
Haynes followed up his 87 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston when unluckily run out with another excellent knock.
Gidman said: “Jack is a very mature young man and works extremely hard behind the scenes.
“He is desperate to do well every time he bats. It is a cruel game at times, but in general, he is a great young pro and becoming a pivotal part of the team.
“It was a very tough decision not to play him from the start of the season, but he is still young, and we know we have some other guys who have contributed exceptionally well over the last campaign.
“We did it for what we believe were the right reasons, and thankfully he has got the runs he needed for himself, and he has come into the team and has become a huge part of what we are doing.”
Pennington performed the unusual feat of achieving career bests on successive days – 4-44 in the first innings and 5-32 in the second.
Gidman said: “Once again, a different character to Jack but a similar mentality in terms of excellent work ethic and again really desperate to do well all the time, wants to learn, hungry to improve all the time.
“To have a couple of young Worcestershire lads coming through and performing for the team is exciting. We’re all pleased for those guys and for Dillon to get his first five-for.
“It was an exceptional performance by him, and he looked like the bowler throughout the whole game who got the most out of the wicket.
“He is extremely powerful, extremely fit, and we’re really, r.eally pleased for him.”
“But I know he will be desperate to repeat it very soon. He is as fit as anyone, so he has certainly got the attributes to lead a bowling attack.
“I don’t put quite the same pressure on him as he puts on himself! For me, it is about him enjoying his cricket and trying to learn as much as he can.
“It’s an impossible game to master, and he will have lots of ups and downs as we all have done, but I’m sure he has got the right mentality to come through the downs and to continue to perform for us.
“When you are fit, hungry and desperate to do well, it is a pretty good starting point.”