Ross Whiteley gave his reaction after the opening day of Worcestershire’s Specsavers County Championship match with leaders Surrey at Blackfinch New Road.

The all-rounder made an impressive 91 batting at number five as Worcestershire totalled 288-6 from 94.1 overs after electing to bat.

Tom Fell (69) and Ed Barnard (63 not out) also made crucial contributions.

Whiteley said: “It’s been a bit of a grind today. Obviously the boys started really well. Felly  (Tom Fell) laid the foundations out and we grafted to the end.

“Felly has been looking in really good touch. He had a tough decision up at Scarborough where he scored 40 odd.

“He has been playing really well and obviously put his hand up to open the batting.

“Barny (Ed Barnard) came in at seven and he has been going from strength to strength and, if he is not taking wickets, then he is scoring runs.

“They bowled very well and challenged the bat and missed the edge a lot but I think we did well to stick at it and keep going the way we needed to score the runs.

“Like I said, it was a bit of a scrap but we got there in the end.

“Was the ball doing too much? It was a slow pitch. It was nipping around quite a bit. They put it in the right areas and it was maybe doing a little bit too much.

“Is that a good score? I’m not sure. Ask me when they have batted. We are pleased with the way we have finished the day (288-6).

“They are top of the table and have come here with some good momentum and we’ve come off the back of a tough game last week.

“It was nice to see the boys scrapping out there all the way to the end today.”