Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell completed his first century of the season – and admitted he was as nervous as when he scored his first ever hundred – as his side took command of the LV = County Championship match with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Mitchell plundered 142 not out from 303 balls with 17 fours and shared in an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 114 with Ben Cox who smote 69 off 65 deliveries with eight boundaries.
Worcestershire declared at 403-5 – a lead of 181 – and Hampshire reached 1-0 off three overs at the end of a truncated day which did not get underway until 4pm.
Mitchell said: ’’It was nice to get my first century of the season, the first since July.
"I must admit I was nervous getting those last 20 runs or so, as nervous as I have been since I got my first ever century.
‘’The boys did well and we were able to put together some good partnerships all through the innings.
‘’I thought Ben Cox batted really well. He has played well all year, been very aggressive and has been in top form but even so I thought we did exceptionally well to reach 400.
‘’I think with this lead we have given ourselves a good chance of winning on the last day.’’
Hampshire spin bowler Danny Briggs said:’’ We have given ourselves a tough task to survive but we bat a long way down and we are confident we can do it.
‘’This was a good wicket, a bit slow at times but Worcestershire have got 400 on it so it was nice to bat on.
"That gives us hope we can do the same on the last day but we need to perform a bit better than we did in the first innings.’’
Worcestershire must be rueing their luck with the elements after the loss of so much play and they dominated both matches against Hampshire last season only for weather to deny them probable victory on each occasion.