Ben Cox scored a superb century – and there were sizeable contributions from Joe Leach and Alex Gidman – as Worcestershire moved into a formidable position on the second day of the LV = County Championship clash with Somerset at New Road.

County wicket-keeper Cox reached three figures in the grand manner with a six off England newcomer Lewis Gregory over backward square leg.

It was his second Championship hundred for the county and followed on from his 104 against Hampshire at New Road last summer.

The 23-year-old was eventually dismissed by Gregory but not before he had scored a personal best 109 from 162 balls with two sixes and 14 fours.

Leach made an equally impressive 95 and looked set for his second Championship ton before edging Alfonso Thomas to Marcus Trescothick at slip.

He also hit two sixes and 14 fours and faced 129 deliveries.

Worcestershire eventually bowled out for 402 – a lead of 152 – and claimed four batting points.

Cox and Leach set a new county seventh wicket partnership record against Somerset, surpassing two previous stands of 128 by JA Cuffe and F Chester (1913) and RG Broadbent and LF Outschoorn (1959) – both at New Road. 

Their stand was eventually worth 168 in 40 overs.

The duo took time to play themselves in and their first 50 runs in tandem spanned 21 overs.

But it was the second new ball taken immediately after tea which sparked an all out assault by the Worcestershire duo and the next 100 runs came from just 17 overs.

Craig Overton came in for particularly heavy punishment and conceded 31 runs in a two over period.

Alex Gidman had laid the foundations with an excellent 78 – his first half century for his new county – before Cox and Leach's spectacular onslaught propelled their side into a position of considerable strength.

Gidman's knock was an accomplished and determined innings from the 33-year-old who reached the half century mark off 104 balls with seven fours.

Gidman shared in partnerships of 59 in 17 overs with Alexei Kervezee and 64 in 13 overs with Cox and his innings was chanceless until when on 78 he cut Craig Overton to Johann Myburgh who held onto head high catch at point.

In total he faced 166 deliveries, struck nine boundaries and batted for more than three and a half hours.

Cox, who took five catches in Somerset's first innings, looked in good nick from the minute he went to the wicket.

His first four scoring shots were boundaries off Peter Trego to set the tone for his entire innings.

Leach, recalled in place of the injured Gareth Andrew, followed up his three wickets yesterday with a typically aggressive innings and there were 10 fours in his 78 ball half century.

Worcestershire resumed this morning on 35-2 after 18 overs. Skipper Daryl Mitchell was trapped lbw by a delivery that kept low from Alfonso Thomas for 27 in the third over of the day after nine runs had been added.

Gidman instantly looked in good form and found a willing ally in Alexei Kervezee, fresh from his fine 93 against Sussex at Hove.

Trego broke the partnership after it had added 59 when he yorked Kervezee for 29 with Worcestershire 103-4.

Worcestershire reached 133-4 at lunch but added only one more run before Ross Whiteley (11) was caught at second slip off Trego.

Gidman was eventually sixth out at 199 but then came the Cox and Leach fireworks.

Jack Shantry (4) and Sachithra Senanayake (10) departed either side of Leach's dismissal.