Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes admitted that Worcestershire's success in the LV = County Championship had exceeded his expectations as he praised the way many of the club's players have improved this season.

The county sit on top of Division Two with six wins and five draws from 11 games after the 204 run home success over Leicestershire today.

They are currently 22 points clear of nearest rivals Hampshire and 27 in front on in-form Surrey and have a game in hand on both.

Rhodes said: "Is the four day game going better than expected? It is exceeeding all expectations to be honest. What has been pleasing is it's not like just the odd player has improved.

"Our better players, the likes of Mitch (Daryl Mitchell) and Moeen (Ali), have become better players.

"Our players underneath that bracket, who have been playing first team cricket, the likes of Coxy (Ben Cox) and Gareth Andrew at the start of the year, have done extremely well.

"Add the youngsters coming, and the surprise picks like Richard Oliver, both Toms (Kohler-Cadmore and Fell), Alexei Kervezee, Charlie Morris and now Joe Leach, have all stood up.

"When you look at the 11 who played today, they've been vital to our success in that nearly every player has improved a bit.

"When that happens, no matter who your overseas player is, then you are going to have a little bit better season.

"That is what has been the surprise for me, is that most people have improved a bit. Sometimes people have a tough year."