Assistant Coach Alan Richardson praised the quality of Worcestershire’s fielding in helping haul them back into contention on day one of the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
Worcestershire were bowled out for 159, with Dane Paterson picking up eight wickets, before the home side reached 70-0.
But the run out of Ben Slater and Liam Patterson-White, thanks to great work by Jake Libby and Josh Baker, helped turn the game.
With keeper Ben Cox also picking up a couple of fine catches, Nottinghamshire were restricted to 203-7 – a lead of just 44 – by the close.
Richardson said: “The guys have prided themselves for a long time with our fielding and the number of runouts we try and get during the year.
“A great effort by Jake for the first one, and some really good keeping by Ben as well with that really athletic work to be able to reach the stumps.
“And then Josh Baker, dead eye, sensational. We need that. We need to be able to hold onto our catches and create as many chances as we can.
“So thankfully the fielders contributed today as well.”
Richardson added: “Did we end the day better than we started? I think so, certainly with the ball.
“I thought we came back really strongly, especially in that last hour.
“We bowled with real discipline, and we got our rewards just to keep us within a bit of touching distance, I guess.
“Dane Paterson bowled beautifully. He challenged both edges the whole way through, bowled with great discipline, bowled a long spell and put us under pressure.
“We tried our best, tried to show as much intent as possible to put away the bad balls, but there were some good balls in there.
“It was a good effort but an outstanding performance from Dane.
“When we played here last year, we didn’t bowl very well, and we discussed the lengths we needed to bowl.
“I just think we probably weren’t quite consistent with that. All the batters came off and said it was challenging but if you missed your lengths there was an opportunity to score.
“We were just short of that, not stacking enough balls in the right area, which is what Paterson did very well.
“We addressed that, and the boys came back nice and strong and showed that consistency.”
Richardson was pleased with the contribution of Adam Finch who replaced Joe Leach after he was absent through illness.
He said: “Joe has led the attack really well so far; he is a seasoned performer, he has been brilliant for us over a number of years, so to have had him here would have been great.
“But it gives Adam Finch that opportunity, and I think he bowled a really good second spell and challenged all the batters and ran in and bowled quickly.”
Worcestershire will be looking to polish off the Nottinghamshire innings early tomorrow, but Richardson said: “It’s going to be pretty tense the whole way through, so we have to try and make sure they don’t get too far ahead of us.
“They’ve already got a 40 odd run lead, so we need to try and keep that down as well as possible, then chip away with the bat and give us something to bowl at in the fourth innings.
“There were a couple of balls with variable bounce, which is always interesting, so if we can take the game as deep as possible, that might help us later on in the game.”