Alan Richardson was full of praise for “an amazing effort” with the ball by Worcestershire club captain Joe Leach on day three of the Specsavers County Championship match with Sussex at Kidderminster.

Leach was forced to leave the field after bowling just four overs in his initial spell with a spasm in his right buttock.

Bowling coach Richardson admitted he did not expect Leach to bowl during the remainder of the day.

But the 28-year-old stepped up to the plate and sent down 10 overs on the trot from the Railway End and was unlucky not to add to the wicket he had picked up in his first spell of Luke Wells.

Richardson said: “It was an absolutely amazing effort by Joe. We didn’t think he would get out and bowl again.

“But he said ‘no, let’s have a go’ and once he got the engine going, he bowled brilliantly well.

“He probably deserved a couple of wickets in that spell.”

Wayne Parnell also could only bowl four overs because of an injury to his left hamstring which he felt after dismissing Stiaan van Zyl to leave Sussex reeling on 34-4.

That followed on from Worcestershire totalling 383 in their first innings with Ben Cox (61), Brett D’Oliveira (31), Leach (54 not out) and Parnell (43) the main contributors today.

Richardson said: “How is Wayne’s injury? It is a bit too early to tell. It looks like a bit of a hamstring thing. We will see how he pulls up in the morning and keep re-assessing.”

A century from Laurie Evans – a player Richardson knows from when the pair were part of the Warwickshire staff – helped Sussex to recover and close on 236-5 – a lead of 108.

Richardson said: “We probably couldn’t have hoped for the first half of the day to go any better really. We applied ourselves really well with the bat with the guys down the order and obtained a good lead which is what we were hoping for.

“Then we started well with the ball and we just took a couple of hammer blows with Wayne and Joe having to go off and it stopped us in our tracks a little bit.

“But fair play to Sussex. Those guys, Laurie Evans and Ben Brown, stuck to their task very well and made it very hard for us.”