Steve Rhodes praised an “amazing effort” from Worcestershire in fighting back from conceding 400 in the first innings to defeat visiting Leicestershire by six wickets and take a step closer to clinching promotion to Division One in the Specsavers County Championship.
Worcestershire clocked up their eighth victory of the season – and 14th in the last 24 games in the Championship – to move top of the table for the first time this season.
Victory keeps the County’s destiny in their own hands ahead of the final match of the campaign against Durham at New Road which gets underway on September 25.
Director Of Cricket Rhodes said: “I try not to get too carried away and some of the other teams have still got two games to go. Really delighted for that victory.
“We would have liked to have batted first and they got 400 so to get nearly 500 is an amazing effort from our boys and to pick up maximum points with 10 Academy players makes you feel very proud.
“To be top of the league with predominantly home grown talent, we are very proud of that fact.
“Once they got 400 they wouldn’t be expecting to lose the game but that’s testament to the way we fought back and we managed to get that lead.”
Rhodes admitted the new ball spells by Josh Tongue and skipper Joe Leach on the third day in reducing Leicestershire to 10-4 in their second innings were crucial.
He said: “Was that a pivotal moment? Very much so. The new ball has always been important but the first 40 overs with these balls, it tends to do quite a lot but then the opposite side to that is from 40-80 overs it is quite easy batting.
“The more wickets you take early the better and to take four wickets with the new ball, two each for Joe and Tonguey, was a fine new ball spell from both of them.”
Rhodes will be keeping tabs on how Worcestershire’s promotion rivals Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire are faring next week.
He said: “I will be watching the scores, not as much as Matt Mason who seems to be checking the scores every couple of minutes!
“Let’s be honest, we can’t do anything about what happens in those games and our focus will be on that last game for us against Durham.”