Assistant Coach Alan Richardson praised a “magnificent effort” by Worcestershire CCC pace bowler Ben Gibbon in helping to inspire a comeback on day two of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground.
Gibbon and the rest of the attack showed great character after testing afternoon session in which they conceded 172 runs.
The left armer, in only his second Championship match, set a superb example during a 90 minute spell of 11-3-23-1 post tea.
Ed Barnard also went through a testing spell in which he conceded only four runs in seven overs.
In contrast to the afternoon, the final session produced only 72 runs from 32 overs with three wickets to Gibbon, Barnard and spinner Josh Baker.
Richardson said: “A good comeback by the bowlers? I think so. That middle session got away from us a little bit and we were a little disappointed with how that went.
“We went for 170 runs in a session, so we can never be happy with that. Full credit to Shan Masood, he played beautifully well.
“The guys got themselves together (at tea), had a chat, came up with a few ideas and executed it brilliantly well in that final session so we’ve gone from 172 runs in the afternoon to 72 in the final session and picked up three wickets as well. All credit to the boys
“Was the plan to strangle the scoring after tea? I think so. We were really struggling to stop them scoring really and Masood was a big part of that. He was scoring effortlessly so we tried to frustrate them as much as possible.
“Ed Barnard and Ben Gibbon bowled beautifully that first hour after tea and gave us a chance to get back into the session.”
On Gibbon’s exceptional effort, Richardson said: “Ben has traditionally done long spells. He has come from Minor Counties and club cricket where he has done a lot of that.
“It almost takes him four or five overs to get going so it was a magnificent effort.
“He bowled accurately, got it off straight a little bit and challenged the batters which is what we are always looking to do.
“Sometimes conditions will help you do that and other times like today it was hard work to do that and he did it brilliantly well.
“He was really disappointed with his first couple of spells, buckled down, probably had a word with himself at tea time, and bowled magnificently well, and deserved a bit more than he got.
“He has certainly helped to keep us in the game with that spell alongside Ed.”
Worcestershire were bowled out for 368 in their first innings after losing five wickets for 42 runs today.
Richardson said: “I think it was a great effort with the bat yesterday to get us in a good position so slightly disappointing we didn’t score a few more runs, a couple of softish dismissals, but being stuck in on the first day, to get four batting points, we’d have taken that at the start.
“We have to keep that in context and I still think we did a good job.”
Richardson admitted the state of the surface may make the need for attritional cricket a crucial factor during the remainder of the game.
He said: “It is getting a bit slower and the heavy roller has had an impact straight away and from the boys are saying, the ball got really soft so, whilst it was hard to get it off straight and carry through to the keeper, it probably helped us stem the runs as well.
“That first session yesterday probably did the most it is going to do during the game, certainly off the seam.
“It is going to be about attritional cricket, trying to get it off straight and put pressure on the batters when we are bowling.”