Alex Gidman says Worcestershire are “right in the mix” at the halfway stage of their LV=Insurance County Championship programme after a hard-fought draw with Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside.
Worcestershire collected 13 points after amassing 550 all out in reply to Durham’s 642-7 declared in batter-friendly conditions.
They have won two, lost one and drawn four of their opening seven games to be in the hunt to try and secure one of the top two spots by the end of September.
Head Coach Gidman said: “We’ve come here as the away team, played what is in front of us, and I’m really delighted with the way our players played and the points we’ve got.
“I don’t think we could have got more out of the game, but we’ve come away to a tough place to play cricket and are driving back down the M1 with some really good points, and it keeps our campaign very, very alive.
“You certainly can’t win it in the first few games, but you can certainly make it extremely hard for yourselves to be in it, but we’ve got through the first half, and we’ve only lost one game.
“It sounds a negative thing to say, but you can’t lose matches. We’ve drawn some games where we had no other real option in terms of results, and we’ve won a couple of games, so we are right in the mix.
“Really, really pleased with where we are halfway through the campaign and really excited about the next few games.”
In terms of the game against Durham, Gidman said: “Obviously a batter friendly wicket, a quick outfield, not a huge margin for error for the bowlers.
“Durham played very well in their first innings and clearly made it extremely hard for us to have any chance of winning the game.
“But I thought we showed a huge amount of character and resilience, and good skill, most importantly, to get plenty of runs on the board ourselves.
“It was still very hard competitive cricket. I thought both teams batted really well, and both teams tried extremely hard with the ball.
“It did a little bit at times but probably didn’t go up and down as much as it has done here from our experience here in previous years.
“It remained pretty flat throughout, but you’ve got to show that skill and mindset with the bat, and both teams did that very well.
“Pleasing from our point of view that we managed to occupy the crease for a very long time.”
Gidman was delighted with the contribution of keeper-batter Gareth Roderick, who marked his first Championship game of 2022 with an invaluable knock of 45 not out to follow on from his five catches in Durham’s first innings.
He said: ”When we signed Gareth, it was obviously as a batter, but we also knew he would be that back-up keeper if and when we ever needed him.
“We needed it from a keeping perspective this game, and it doesn’t surprise me that he was extremely tidy and did his job very well.
“I thought he then showed really good experience with the bat, getting through that tricky half-hour on the third evening and then guiding us past the follow on today, which was really important.
“By his own admittance, he has struggled a little bit since he has been with us.
“But the last few games he has played, albeit, with some of them at the back end of last season, he has made some very valuable contributions and done a really important job for us in this game.
“He is a deep thinker. He is always trying to improve and develop his game still at his age and with his experience, but really pleased for him that he’s done what he has done today, and put himself in the shop window, so to speak, for the next few games.”