Head Coach Alan Richardson praised “as complete a performance as we’ve had all season” after Worcestershire triumphed by 110 runs over Gloucestershire in the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter at Cheltenham College.
Adam Finch, Dillon Pennington and Joe Leach shared the wickets on the final day as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 311 with 8.5 overs to spare.
But batters and bowlers alike, backed up by some superb catch fielding, all came together to produce a fourth victory of the campaign to lift Worcestershire into second spot.
It clinched back to back victories after last week’s triumph over Leicestershire at Oakham School.
Richardson said: “It’s been a great two weeks without a shadow of a doubt. We identified these two games as a real opportunity to try and take a forward step in the Championship and try and give us a real chance going into the last three games.
“The boys have performed brilliantly well in terms of how they have gone about it as a team, and then some real good individual performances which have given us a chance to win games.
“Was this the most complete performance? I think so. The Derbyshire performance at the start of the season was also very good as well.
“But in terms of how we performed as a bowling unit the whole way through, on a fast scoring ground, and with the bat, over the four days it was probably as complete a performance as we’ve done all year.
Joe Leach again excelled with the ball in both innings to take his wicket tally past the 40 mark for the campaign.
Richardson said: “He gave us great control and a real level of threat throughout as well. His burst of three wickets in 16 balls in the first innings was absolutely crucial to give us that first innings lead.
“It gave us the opportunity to try and dictate the game as much as possible and set up a target and give ourselves enough time to bowl Gloucestershire out
“Joe has been outstanding all season so far, top wicket-taker, and has given us throughout the season real levels of control and a threat as well.
“All the bowlers should take credit and heart from the performance but you probably always look at Joe as that leader of the attack and he didn’t disappoint again.”
Richardson admitted Matthew Waite’s 22 ball half century on the third evening, following on from his first innings 64, also played a key part in the success.
He said: “Since we’ve had Matthew, we’ve always known he has that all-round ability and he showed that in different ways in this game.
“In the first innings some valuable runs when we were not in the position we wanted and then to really kick on yesterday was fantastic.
“I don’t think in our dreams that we thought we were going to be that far ahead so for Matthew to have that impact last night has again given us that opportunity.
“It’s been hugely recognised by Brett and the boys that it was an absolutely crucial yesterday and hopefully he is really enjoying his cricket.”