Head Coach Alan Richardson praised Worcestershire for “toughening it out” and earning a hard-fought draw from the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Sussex at New Road.
Azhar Ali’s brilliant unbeaten century was the highlight of a tense and absorbing final day as Worcestershire, who trailed by 109 runs after the first innings, battled through to 251-8 before the two teams shook hands.
Worcestershire will head into Thursday’s game with Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens lying in fourth spot and only eight points off Sussex and Leicestershire in joint second spot.
Richardson said: “I always thought it was going to be a real day where we had to tough it out – and we certainly did that.
“Azhar led brilliantly from the front and there were some nice little partnerships along the way but always felt it was going to be tough if they bowled the balls in the right areas.
“They did that for long periods and made it really hard work for us. Always confident, and the beauty for us is we always bat down to the tail.
“Azhar has got some high quality and a lot of experience, so that helps that he was in and around there.
“No matter how experienced you are, you always like to have that time in the middle and get some runs.
“With Azhar, we know what we are going to get. We do get some highly skilled performances, and he is fantastic on and off the field.
“I think he has batted really well throughout the year on some testing surfaces so for him to bat that length of time will only hold him in good stead going forward.
“But I was confident we would get a couple of really long partnerships to give us the chance to bat through the day.”
The biggest threat to Worcestershire was posed by England pace bowler Ollie Robinson, with 14 wickets in the game.
Richardson said: “To take 14 of the 18 wickets to fall is a phenomenal effort. The guy never missed. He got the ball to consistently move, challenged both edges and made it incredibly difficult for us throughout the game.
“We had conversations about how we were going to try and combat him and nullify his threat as much as possible, but we didn’t want to take our eyes off anyone else as well.”