Gareth Roderick showed great determination and application to help Worcestershire avoid the follow-on and secure an honourable draw on the final day of the high-scoring LV=Insurance County Championship match with Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside.
The keeper-batter had arrived at the crease at a challenging time on the third evening, with 87 still needed to make Durham bat again and four wickets remaining.
After the early loss today of century-maker Ed Barnard, Roderick shepherded his team to safety in a most invaluable knock of 45 not out spanning 181 balls and three hours, 40 minutes.
It completed a fine all-round first senior game of the season for Roderick, who picked up five catches in Durham’s first innings and did not concede a bye in 155 overs.
With Dillon Pennington (44) helping add 69 – a new 10th wicket record for Worcestershire versus Durham – the visitors were able to amass 550 all out in 178.5 overs.
After spending nearly two days in the field, whilst Durham amassed 642-7 declared, it was an admirable effort by Worcestershire.
Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira and Barnard hit hundreds to build on the initial foundations laid by Azhar Ali and Jack Haynes before Roderick, and latterly Pennington finished the job.
It was the second time Worcestershire had topped 500 this summer after the 577-6 versus Leicestershire at New Road.
They picked up a total of 13 points – one for bowling, four for batting and eight for a draw.
Durham reached 102-0 from 30 overs in their second innings before the two teams shook hands.
Worcestershire resumed on 431-6, and Barnard produced a superb flowing cover drive off Paul Coughlin for a boundary.
But the same bowler came around the wicket and held onto a diving catch after the ball came off the toe end of Barnard’s bat.
His 128 off 253 balls contained 13 boundaries.
Coughlin struck again when Josh Baker (3) was caught at short mid-wicket and then Ben Gibbon (0), having defied the Durham attack for 26 balls, pushed spinner Liam Trevaskis into the hands of silly point.
Twelve runs were needed then to avoid the follow on but Roderick’s paddle sweep brought a four off Trevaskis before Pennington clipped Matt Salisbury off his legs to the boundary to ensure Durham had to bat again.
Pennington played with freedom and struck eight fours in his 63 ball knock before he was caught behind off Jonathan Bushnell.
The last wicket partnership of 69 beat the previous best for the 10th wicket of 55 by Joe Leach and Charlie Morris at the Riverside in 2021.
When Durham batted again, Gibbon bowled some challenging deliveries to first innings double century-maker Rachin Ravindra during his first spell before tea.
Michael Jones just had time to complete a 91 ball half century before the two teams shook hands with Ravindra unbeaten on 46.