Ed Barnard said Worcestershire will aim to try and again make life uncomfortable for promotion-chasing Gloucestershire when the Specsavers County Championship match between the two sides reaches a climax at Blackfinch New Road tomorrow morning.
The all-rounder revealed the determination of the players to make Gloucestershire fight to achieve a modest 115 target after a challenging time with ball and bat earlier during the second day.
That was evident for all to see via some quality bowling in the final session when Gloucestershire were reduced to 54-4 from 29 overs with only six boundaries hit during that period.
It was in contrast to a spell when Worcestershire lost control pre-lunch as Ryan Higgins and David Payne scored 62 runs in nine overs and wrestled momentum away from the home side.
Worcestershire were then bowled out for 128 in their second innings but came out all guns blazing with the ball themselves in the final session after an elongated ‘huddle’ before taking the field.
Barnard, who returned the excellent figures of 6-42 in Gloucestershire’s first innings, said: “Those 29 overs tonight have shown we are still a high quality bowling attack and, if we get it right, we can challenge any batters in the country and really put teams under pressure.
“Gloucestershire played really well, and they have played really well all season, but they are under quite a bit of pressure tomorrow to make sure they get that win.
“If we can hammer that home and keep stacking (bowling in the right places), you never know.”
As regards the lengthy ‘huddle’, Barnard said: “We recognised how disappointing the batting and the morning’s bowling had been and, especially with it being our last home game of the year, we wanted to make sure we showed the crowd especially and ourselves that we were putting up some fight.
“We wanted to put them under pressure and knew if we could get a couple of early wickets, you never know in this game.
“Everyone was really impressive (this evening) especially Finchy (Adam Finch). I was really pleased with him. I thought he bowled an exceptional spell at the back end and could have had one or two more
“We’ve bowled really well there tonight.”
Twenty wickets fell during the second day and the two teams have served up another see-saw game as was the case at Cheltenham in July although this one is likely to be completed in seven sessions as opposed to going into the final hour.
Barnard said: “It’s been a bit like the whole season really. Wickets seem to have fallen in clusters and days have been a bit manic throughout the year. It’s just one of those sort of days really.
“How is the pitch? I think batting-wise, the pitch is tough. As a bowler if you get the ball in the right areas, there is definitely movement there.
“It swung nicely all game and there has been a lot of seam movement.
“Similar to Cheltenham? You could say that. It has been very similar although obviously it’s not going to last quite as long as that.
“You keep dragging yourself back into games? That’s one way of looking at it. It’s nice to see that we have been in quite a lot of tough situations this year and quite a lot of the time we have sort of got ourselves back in the game.
“But I think it is just disappointing we’ve been in those situations in the first place so many times this year and the results speak themselves. We probably just haven’t been good enough consistently all year.”