Paceman Dillon Pennington described Worcestershire CCC Club Captain Joe Leach as “the main man of our team” after another impressive performance on day one of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Kent at Canterbury.
Leach followed up his nine wickets in the win against Sussex by hitting 38 of Worcestershire’s 133 all out and then returning 1-23 from 15 testing overs with the ball which deserved a far greater reward.
He and Pennington were the only bowlers to hit top form and they will look to take early wickets on day two when Kent resume on 184-4 in their first innings.
Pennington, who picked up three wickets, said: “Joe is absolutely brilliant. It is amazing he turns to himself to bowl those tough overs.
“Myself and Joe bowled quite a few overs in a short amount of time and then he showed he has got it in him to bowl a few more.
“He works so hard, he is the main man of the team, and he is doing a superb job with bat and ball at the moment.
“Joe took the pressure off a little bit with the way he batted and gave us a bit of a lift going into their innings, and he does that.
“He takes the wind out of the attack by hitting their good and bad balls and then he does what he does with the ball.
“Joe hits top of off stump and moves it in and out and that is all anyone can ask and he keeps running in all day for us.”
Pennington knows the first part of the second day will be crucial after Worcestershire failed to fire on all cylinders with bat and ball on day one.
He said: “It is a 10.30am start again and, if we put the ball in the right area at that time, we should get our rewards.
“I don’t think it will be as easy to score that time of the morning.
“We’ve got a good hour and a half when it will be a very challenging time to bat, and hopefully we can utilise that.”
Pennington admitted: “We did not have our best day on Sunday. We did not bat as well as we wanted to as a group and we did not bowl as well as we wanted to as a group.
“We probably did not ‘stack’ as well as we would have wanted to as a bowling group.
“We as a group want on Monday to go hard, play our best cricket, hit top of off stump as many times as we can and, when it is our turn to bat again, show how good we are.”
Pennington looked back to the form he had produced pre The Hundred and troubled all the batsmen.
He said: “It’s been a long time since I played red ball cricket. We had five weeks of it with The Hundred and a month and a bit of the Vitality Blast before that.
“Last week against Sussex was a bit of a fight for the body. It was getting used to bowling the overs again and on Sunday it felt really good.
“My consistency wasn’t there during the last game but I felt threatening and hopefully this game I can get some consistency back and with that threatening touch.”