Worcestershire all-rounder Wayne Parnell gave his reaction after day three of the Specsavers County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.
Parnell finished with the impressive figures of 3-29 from 12 overs as Worcestershire reduced Gloucestershire to 149-8 in their second innings – an overall lead of 210 heading into the final day.
Club captain Joe Leach and number eleven Adam Finch had set the tone for Worcestershire’s determined performance throughout the day with a last wicket stand of 47 in 22 overs.
Parnell said: “It shows the character of the group that, game after game when things get tough, there is always someone who stands up which is really, really good for us.
Ross (Whiteley) and Dolly’s (Brett D’Oliveira’s) partnership was crucial to get us into a position where we could get close to their first innings total and the same with Leachy and Finchy’s stand.
“Then with the ball as well, to have them eight wickets down is really, really good for us.
“The bowling unit was very consistent. In the second innings, you know what you have to do so it was just about trying to execute that.
“In the first innings, I think the session after lunch on the first day probably killed us a little bit but, having said that, getting eight wickets today has probably brought us back into the game.”
Parnell said: “It is about coming here tomorrow with a positive mindset, getting the two wickets and trying to knock the runs off.
“It’s a decent wicket. As we have seen with certain guys getting in, they can actually score quite quickly and also, with Gloucestershire having one bowler less (the injured Matt Taylor) might help us.
“You want to get a nice partnership early on amongst the first four or five guys (in the batting order) and then look to build on that.
“But firstly, we’ve got to get these two wickets quite cheaply and anything under 240, 250 (to chase) would be good.”
The third day realised 211 runs off 94 overs for the loss of 12 wickets in a fascinating struggle between bat and ball.
Parnell said: It seemed at times like it was a flat and slow wicket and then there certain times when it did something.
“It was about trying to stack balls in a decent area.”
Parnell offered words of encouragement to young paceman Finch on several occasions.
He said: “Being a young guy, sometimes your emotions can get the better of you so I was trying to keep him calm and to not get sucked too much into the battle and to try and execute what he has to do.”
Dillon Pennington claimed the important wicket of Ryan Higgins (36) who again produced some of the most fluent batting of the game.
Parnell said: “He looked to be positive again, played a few good shots but to get him quite cheaply was good for us and, like I said, to have eight wickets is good for us and I think we are really happy from where we were this morning.”