Worcestershire head coach Alex Gidman was among those piling the praise on Ed Barnard, who scored 163 not out against Nottinghamshire.

Barnard was able to see of a Notts attack featuring Stuart Broad, Luke Fletcher and Dane Paterson, who shared all 20 wickets in the County Championship clash at Trent Bridge.

While the hosts went on to win by five wickets, Gidman was still pleased with the progress shown by his side, and in particular Barnard.

“All the players, we work as hard as we can with them, and Ed puts in a huge shift,” he said.

“This innings today was one of the finest I’ve seen, with great discipline, great shot selection, chanceless I think, and he was supported with some really healthy contributions throughout.”

He added: “The character and resilience we have shown at times has been unbelievable alongside some great skill.

“I’m really delighted with so much of the game and just gutted for the guys that we didn’t quite do enough at certain times to get ourselves in an even better position.

“I just can’t fault the effort or the application throughout the game. It was a great effort and we came so close.”

It wasn’t just the head coach impressed by Barnard’s display.

Ben Cox, who partnered Barnard for 126 of his runs, was in awe of his teammate.

Speaking after day two, he said: “Jack (Haynes) played a hell of a knock just to take the sting out of it, and then the main man, Ed Barnard, just had nerves of steel, really.

“He was so calm at the crease. I enjoy batting with him for that reason. You can tell that from how late he plays the ball, a sign of calmness, nerves of steel and a bit of grit.”

Worcestershire had only three front-line seamers and spinner Josh Baker, with Dillon Pennington injured in the first innings.

Gidman said: “We don’t know the extent of it yet but it was obviously why he was unable to bowl.”

Gidman added that he expects Joe Leach to return to face Durham at New Road starting on Thursday after he missed this game through illness.