Mitchell and Moeen make Nottinghamshire sweat

Nottinghamshire 118 & 403 Worcestershire 130 & 258-6 (Worcs need 134 runs to win)

trent bridge

Worcestershire may again be favourites to be relegated but the spirit that enabled them to defy their doubters last season clearly remains intact. Faced with chasing what seemed likely to be an academic target of 392 to win at Trent Bridge, they have made such a good fist of their task that they looked for a while as if they might pull it off. They might do yet, although the balance was shifting steeply towards the home side last night. At stumps, they had reduced the requirement to 134 but had only four wickets in hand after Nottinghamshire had taken three with the second new ball in a destructive final half-hour or so.

They were much less well placed, certainly, than when a partnership of 174 between their captain, Daryl Mitchell, and the all-rounder Moeen Ali, came to an end, at which point they needed 157 with seven wickets standing.

Ali would consider himself somewhat unfortunate to be out for 94 after a magnificently measured innings that mixed aggression with patience. The airy drive that had him caught behind off Andre Adams as an increasingly frustrated Nottinghamshire attack wondered how they might ever separate the third-wicket pair was out of character. One could only suspect that weariness, physically and mentally, had crept in.

His departure left the contest in the balance again, with the second new ball about to be taken and responsibility resting on the shoulders of Mitchell, who had taken full advantage of an unusual reprieve when he was given out leg before by umpire George Sharp who, in the absence of an appeal from bowler Adams, changed his mind.

Indeed, once Ali had gone, Worcestershire's strong position began to unravel quickly. Ben Phillips, the right-arm seamer who has bowled well throughout this match, dealt Worcestershire another setback with the sixth delivery with the new ball, bowling Alexei Kervezee off his pads.

Mitchell completed a fine century off 237 balls with his 12th boundary but faced only one more before Luke Fletcher bowled him with a swinging ball. When the burly paceman struck again with his next delivery, badly misjudged by new batsman Ben Scott, the 139 runs Worcestershire needed suddenly looked a daunting figure.

Nottinghamshire had added 48 to their overnight total, including a characteristic charge, whirling bat in hand, by Adams, who smote 25 off as many balls without much control over which direction the ball would fly, although the six he hoisted over long-on against seamer Richard Jones was as clean a hit as you will see. Riki Wessels advanced to 113 before he was leg before playing across one from Alan Richardson, whose five-wicket haul was just reward.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game