Joe Leach praised the all-round contribution of Worcestershire century-maker Matthew Waite in helping to establish a strong position for his side on day three of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground.
Waite scored a maiden first class century spanning three and a half hours in shepherding Worcestershire from their overnight 331-6 to 473 all out, with the aid of excellent support from Ben Gibbon during a last-wicket stand of 82.
He then sent down 15 overs and picked up the wicket of Anuj Dal to add to his four in the first innings, and he so far has a match analysis of 32.1-7-106-5.
Leach said: “A really good day’s cricket. First and foremost, credit to Matthew Waite, an exceptional hundred on his first permanent game with us.
“Then to back it up with 15 more overs is a great physical effort from him to back up the first innings.
“We backed ourselves first and foremost to get 400, and anything over that was a bonus, and Ben (Gibbon) stuck around for Matthew, played really well and sensibly, and that partnership was crucial for us.
“We know that we bat really deep, it is one of the strengths of our group. Josh (Tongue) coming in at number 10 is really impressive for us.
Leach enjoyed bowling a marathon spell after tea in which he struck a superb rhythm and troubled all the batters.
He said: “Nice to get a big long spell in this early in the season. The physicality of that is hard work when you haven’t got overs under your belt behind you.
“It was a really good contest with Wayne (Madsen) in particular over a number of overs. Nice to get out on top in the end.
Leach will take nothing for granted when Derbyshire resume on 269-6, an overall lead of 117.
He said: “We are not expecting anything because I’ve played long enough to know that expectations are for fools in cricket.
“From our point of view, it is about executing things as we have for the large part of the day with the older ball and, if we have to use the new ball, hopefully, use it slightly better than we have done.
“I’ve learnt over a number of years that you don’t look too far ahead, and the first partnership to break is Leu Du Plooy and Zak Chappell, and then we’ll go from there.”