Ross Whiteley celebrated his first senior hundred for Worcestershire against New Zealand at New Road – and hopes it will help to put him "in the running" for a place in the LV = County Championship side.

The all-rounder went to three figures off 166 balls with his 18th four to lead a Worcestershire fightback on day three and help earn a first innings lead of 30.

It followed on from another impressive century at New Road for the Seconds against Middlesex earlier in the campaign.

He said: "It was great, really good. It was nice to spend some time in the middle and to come away with a score is nice.

"That first senior hundred for Worcestershire is a massive moment, a huge relief really. I've been scoring a few runs in the second team so far and to come out today and score a few runs against New Zealand was really nice.

"The first 30 runs weren't pretty but I stuck in there and managed to scrape my way through and I struck it alright in the end so I was really pleased.

"I started to see a bit more of myself come out. I was a little bit reserved early on and was able to play some shots later on."

Whiteley played the first nine Championship matches of last season before being left out of the side – although he went onto make a significant contribution in white ball cricket – and is keen to regain his place.

He said: "Is there a bit of pressure? I think there is always pressure. We've got such a good squad at the moment.

"There are a lot of guys after the number six batting spot especially and to score runs hopefully has put me in the running.

"I'll take some confidence from this going into the rest of the season, definitely.

"I had quite a lean period last year when I didn't score many runs in the Championship side and lost my spot.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself to get back in the side and scoring the runs over the last couple of weeks has helped quite a lot."

Whiteley has also been working on the bowling aspect of his game.

He said: "I've been doing a lot of work with Mase recently and when it clicks, the ball comes out pretty nice.

"It is a work in progress. I think it has been for a number of years now but it is getting there and again that's a confidence thing for me as well. Hopefully that continues.

"Mase has put a lot of confidence back in me. He has worked really hard over the last few months.

"I'm a confidence bowler and it helps scoring runs as well. It just takes the pressure off each kind of skill and hopefully that continues."