Head Coach Alex Gidman praised the performance of the Worcestershire players during the second half of the LV=Insurance County Championship game against Durham but admitted the showing on day one at New Road ultimately proved too challenging to overcome.
Jake Libby’s last day century, another fine knock from Brett D’Oliveira and support from the lower order meant Durham had to wait until the final over of the third day to secure victory.
But below-par first innings batting performance and initial failings with the ball, before a clatter of wickets after lunch on day two, left the County facing an uphill task.
Gidman said: “That first day was a bit of a shock, a bit of a blur. We obviously didn’t apply ourselves as much as we needed to, and we were well behind the game early on.
“It was always going to be tough to have a chance of winning the game once you have a first hour, first session like we did.
“Credit to Durham, they bowled aggressively and put the ball in the right areas from ball one. They put us under pressure, and we didn’t quite have it in us to cope with that pressure early in the game.
“It has been a tough fixture, but from lunch-time, on day two, we started to show the sort of team we’ve been through much of this season so far.
“Sadly, it was too late in this fixture, but I’m really pleased with the way the guys tried to fight to stay in the game and to make a good go of it.
“We were too short in the end but can’t complain about the cricket since lunch-time on Friday.
“We batted well on the last day, and Jake Libby was superb and had a great partnership with Brett D’Oliveira.
“I can’t knock the way the guys tried to give us a chance to win the game towards the end but, with the margin as big as it was after the first innings, it was always going to be a tough ask.”
Gidman said the focus will be on finishing as high as possible in Group 1 when they return to Championship action in July after a block of Vitality Blast cricket.
He said: “Right now, the lads are absolutely shattered. It’s been nine extremely tough weeks, and we’ve played some very good teams.
“We’ve been a very good team ourselves at times, not all the time we know, but generally, we’ve fought extremely hard against some very strong teams in a very competitive league.
“We’ve got to get our heads around the T20 now, but once we come to play that final Championship game, we will be ready for it.’’