PAT Brown admits he has already played more first team cricket than expected this summer as he returns to the Worcestershire side for the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash with Leicestershire at New Road tomorrow (10.30am).

The 19-year-old paceman has featured in two Championship matches and six NatWest T20 Blast encounters for the County.

He claimed his first Championship victim when dismissing Sussex’s Jofra Archer and then bowled a testing spell on the final day of the win over Gloucestershire which brought the vital wicket of skipper Phil Mustard.

Now Brown returns to the side with second-placed Worcestershire looking to build on their 36-point lead over nearest rivals Northamptonshire and Sussex who both have one game in hand.

Brown said: “It has been quite a long journey up until here and is a step up from where I thought I would be at this point.

“At the start of the year I wasn’t really thinking about any first-team games.

“I was thinking about playing as well as I could in the seconds and improving really.

“It’s all come pretty quick and was a bit of a shock to me and others as well, everyone really.”

Director of cricket Steve Rhodes praised the way Brown has made strides forward during the past 12 months.

Brown said: “I don’t really know what it is. It is just working hard and doing the right things.

“It is obviously my first year as well so everything steps up in terms of training and gym work. I’ve bowled a lot more balls. There is no doubt in my mind as to that’s why I have improved so much.”

Against bottom-of-the-table Leicestershire Brown replaces left-armer Jack Shantry in the only change from the side who defeated leaders Nottinghamshire by eight wickets at Trent Bridge.

Victory for Worcestershire, who finish their season at home to Durham from September 25, would move them into pole position as Notts are not in action this week.

But opener Daryl Mitchell knows there is still plenty of work to be done in the bid to gain promotion.

He said: “It is very important to enjoy your successes but it’s been back to work training and getting ready for Leicestershire.

“They are two massive games. If we win one of them I’m pretty sure we will be promoted. If we win both of them we’ve got a chance of winning the league.

“It is vitally important we get up for it again and start focusing on Leicestershire. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Northants visit Glamorgan this week and Sussex host Derbyshire while Kent go to Gloucestershire.

Worcestershire: Mitchell, D’Oliveira, Fell, Clarke, Rhodes, Ashwin, Cox, Barnard, Leach, Tongue, Brown.