Matt Mason felt the Worcestershire bowling unit produced their best performance of the season in helping the County establish a strong position on day two of the Specsavers County Championship clash with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

Joe Leach returned 5-70 – his third five wicket haul of the campaign – and Matt Henry an impressive 3-52 while spinner Brett D'Oliveira weighed in with two wickets in two balls as Northants were dismissed for 148.

It earned Worcestershire a first innings lead of 129 which they extended to 310 by the close after an opening century stand between skipper Daryl Mitchell (47) and D'Oliveira (81).

Assistant coach and bowling coach Mason told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "It's been a great day and we are really pleased. It's hard to think that at the start of yesterday we were a little bit down in the dumps being 50-5 but what a great fightback.

"With the ball, I've been really chuffed because we've had it tough with the ball this year. We have really struggled to make an impact.

"That wicket gave our guys just enough hope that they could break through and they did that. They kept taking wickets.

"With Joe Leach, it was another fantastic effort from him, another five wicket haul, his third of the season, and Matt Henry hit his straps.

"It is probably the best I've seen him bowl for some time. He really showed why he has got international class which I thought was great as well.

"Then Dolly (Brett D'Oliveira) chimed in with some great leg spin and George (Rhodes) as well, and young Ed Barnard did his job so the whole bowling unit as a group, probably for the first time this year, all worked pretty well together.

"They always put the effort and hard work in and it is nice for them to get some rewards for that effort and have helped us set up this game."

Mason added: "We had a handy lead and the way we've batted has put us right in the driving seat.

"It is spinning, it is hard work, so it is testing the guys, but I think we've played it the right way, got really good clear plans, have implemented those plans and that's why we are in front of the game so far.

"It is going fairly sharply out of the footholds and out of the rough, particularly for the leg spinner, but we've had a chat about it after the game and we've got some good plans going into tomorrow.

"There maybe a little bit of weather around but we won't think too much about that and will try and put them under pressure by posting a good score here and going about bowling them out again.

"I'm not sure how much cricket we will get in tomorrow but the plan will be to make sure we've got enough time but also we need that wicket to deteriorate a little bit more so it makes life really difficult for them once our spinners come into the game the last innings of the match."