DUE for success again one day, sooner rather than later after finishing runners-up to Middlesex in last season's Championship, Worcestershire will probably have to settle this time for not much more than the one-day prize money that would accompany a successful outing against Warwickshire in next Saturday's Benson and Hedges Cup final.
On the other hand, fresh from victory over Sussex, a second four-day win of the summer would not come amiss on the road to Lord's, and Somerset appeared willing to oblige here yesterday as they stumbled to improve on a first-innings lead of 34.
Richard Illingworth's slow left arm was doing a fine job, besides which the earlier batting efforts of the spinner and David Leatherdale, his more prolific partner in a stand of 183, lifted Worcestershire.
At seven down for 105, Worcestershire were in trouble but by the time Illingworth was out, the eighth-wicket stand had risen to 183. Illingworth had made 89 before falling to Mushtaq Ahmed's first ball of the morning.
Distracted by a leg-before appeal, he was busy looking for a non-existent single when Richard Harden threw down the stumps, thereby robbing Worcestershire of an eighth- wicket record which stands at 184 between Steve Rhodes and Stewart Lampitt against Derbyshire three summers ago.
Leatherdale, meanwhile, made 139 before providing Mushtaq with a fifth victim in his final Championship match of the season for Somerset prior to Sri Lankan tour duties with Pakistan. A slim Worcestershire deficit then looked promising when Illingworth took out Nick Folland and Rob Turner. Indeed, Somerset led by only 141 with half the side out, though Harden's approaching hundred eased the pain to suggest Worcestershire will not be short of one-day run-chase practice when they reach headquarters.