Head Coach Alex Gidman has praised the resilience shown by the Worcestershire CCC squad over four hard-fought LV=Insurance County Championship matches in which no quarter has been given.
The County’s players again showed they were up to the demands and challenges placed in front of them in holding reigning champions Essex for the second time this season at New Road.
It means they are lying third in Group 1 and just two points off leaders Warwickshire, whom they meet at Edgbaston starting on Thursday.
Gidman said: “The players have shown some outstanding resilience once again. They are developing that little bit of belief that if you play good cricket over a long period, you get rewards if you show some real discipline and patience.
“We’ve had four challenging games, two against the best side in the country in Essex, and the players are looking forward to carrying on.
“It’s been tough. The draws have been very valuable. It’s been tough, even unrealistic, to try and force a result here at home for either team.
“The Derbyshire game at Derby was the most result type wicket we’ve played on, and we didn’t play our best cricket, but again we came through with good points.”
Worcestershire batted through the final day against Essex with the aid of a defiant last-wicket stand by Dillon Pennington and Charlie Morris and then another half-century from Jake Libby when following on.
Gidman said: “From our point of view, we got as many points as we possibly could. After the first few hours, it was pretty clear it would be another challenging game to force a win.
“The lads stuck at the task from ball one but especially close of play on day one going into day two. We were clear on what we wanted to do and got what we believe was probably the most we could get out of the game.
“Really pleasing from that point of view. Another challenging game of cricket, and the lads have come through again really well.
“Similar to the fixture at Chelmsford, our guys stuck to their task well. We were trying to control the scoreboard as best as possible, trying to stop Essex from scoring freely.
“The bowlers stuck to their task well without many rewards. We felt they were a bit unlucky at times. We dropped a few catches, but when fatigue plays such a big part, then those things can happen.”
Gidman added: “The 15 overs batted by Dillon (Pennington) and Charlie (Morris) was crucial.
“This Essex team needed that one little breakthrough, and all of a sudden, they could apply pressure and can turn one into three or four wickets very quickly as we saw in the morning.
“To dampen that for that 15 overs was essential and, in the context of the final day, had they had those extra overs, they might have had another new ball in the evening session, and those little parts of the game are important.
“It was a crucial little partnership in terms of time and overs, and the boys dug in well.”
Gareth Roderick joined Libby at the wicket immediately after tea, and the pair ensured there were no last session alarms.
Gidman said: “In the context of the game, it was a crucial time to bat. We needed that cool head to see us through that critical hour.
“It happened quite quickly to lose the wicket after tea, just to apply that little bit of pressure, but I thought Gareth and Jake coped with that well.”