Matthew Waite was delighted to be back playing LV=Insurance County Championship cricket and amongst the wickets on his debut for Worcestershire against Leicestershire at New Road.
The on-loan Yorkshire pace bowler was playing his first four-day game since April 2019 but quickly settled into a good rhythm and returned excellent figures of 11-6-15-2.
During his second spell, he struck in successive in dismissing Harry Swindells and Ben Mike and was part of a fine bowling performance as Leicestershire were dismissed for 148 in 52.2 overs.
Waite said: “I’ve enjoyed it. I came down on Monday, I had a couple of days of training and really enjoyed being out there with the boys today, and we managed to put in a good performance, so that is pleasing.
“I thought Dillon Pennington bowled a beautiful spell upfront this morning and just before lunch, and then Ed Barnard does what he does every week from looking at the scores.
“It was nice to bowl them out quite cheaply and then put on some runs tonight.
“I thought I bowled alright in the first spell. I was getting a bit frustrated because I wasn’t getting any wickets.
“But then two came in quick succession, so I was quite happy with that.
“I was quite patient the first eight overs and didn’t go for many runs, but then I tried a couple of bouncers, and one worked and got us a wicket and then I managed to get one through bat and pad.”
Waite added: “I’m grateful for the opportunity that Worcestershire have given me.
“I played white-ball stuff last year, but I think it’s been three years since I played a Championship game through injuries and other stuff, so pleasing to be out there.
“The lads made me feel really welcome. I had two days with them before, but you get to know them better by playing with them, and I feel a lot more comfortable around them today.”
Waite was impressed by the way Azhar Ali and Jack Haynes pushed home Worcestershire’s position of strength during an unbroken stand of 106.
He said: “I think that is their third-century partnership in a row which is outstanding really.
“They both looked comfortable. Azhar is a Test cricketer and is quality; and I’ve heard a lot about Jack Haynes, and he has shown his class.
“Hopefully, we can pile the runs on tomorrow, but we will just take the first hour, the first session,”
Waite also believes there is sufficient encouragement in the wicket for bowlers.
He said: “I heard the pitches had been quite flat, but I think there was enough in it if you put it in the right area.
“We were always in with a chance throughout the day. The lads said there wasn’t much there tonight, but when we bowled, I felt we were in the game most of the day.”