Alexei Kervezee thanked the Worcestershire coaching staff and players for their support during the lean times after scoring a superb hundred on the third day of the LV = County Championship encounter with Derbyshire at New Road.

Kervezee scored his third first class ton in as many matches against Derbyshire – but his first in the County Championship for three years – as Worcestershire closed on 432-9 after securing maximum batting points – a lead of 213.

It followed on from his half century against Kent two weeks ago as Kervezee put last season's poor four-day form behind him.

He pointed his bat towards his team-mates who gave him a rousing dressing rom balcony reception on reaching three figures.

Kervezee was finally dismissed for 110 off 137 balls with 11 fours and Moeen Ali's 99 and Gareth Andrews rapid 71 not out ensured the home side ended proceedings in the driving seat.

He said: "It was quite unbelievable to be honest with you. It was somewhat different to last year for myself and it was good to be amongst the runs again and, on a team basis, it is probably as good as it gets in terms of a batting day.

"The coaching staff and players have kept faith with me. I had a fairly good pre-season as well and I can't stress enough how grateful and thankful I am for the staff to show the belief in me they have.

"The reception from the lads on the balcony when I got to the hundred meant a lot to me.

"They know of my struggles last year and they were all very happy with me and I was ecstatic. It is a thank you to them."

Kervezee admitted: "Last season wasn't easy at times for me in four-day cricket. I worked at a few things here and there, kept the belief kept the faith, and things have turned around somewhat.

"Last year to this year I really haven't done anything different but for whatever reason, whatever I seemed to do last year went wrong. You play straight and miss it and get bowled and you nick it and get caught somewhere.

"Today everything seemed to find the bat to a degree and I got a hundred.

"The 50 against Kent gave me a lift for the rest of the season and leading into this game. It is always nice to get off to a good, strong start and the Kent game definitely helped that."

Kervezee was quick to praise the importance of the opening stand of 72 between skipper Daryl Mitchell and Matt Pardoe and the shift in momentum sparked by Moeen's fine innings.

He said: "The openers did a good job and made life a lot easier for the likes of Tom, myself, Moeen and Coxy and Gaz towards the end there.

"They set up a good foundation for us and myself and Moeen carried on with that and the icing on the cake was Coxy and Gaz.

"Moeen played a very good knock and it was unfortunate he didn't get the extra one he needed to get his 100.

"But he changed the shape of the game in a way and shifted the momentum in our favour and we held onto it for the remainder of the day."