Worcestershire Seconds are in a position of considerable strength after gaining a first innings lead of 147 before openers Ollie Westbury and George Rhodes helped extend their lead past 300 on day two of the Championship match with Northamptonshire at Kidderminster.

Northamptonshire resumed on 38-2 in reply to Worcestershire’s 406-5 declared and were bowled out for 259, avoiding the possibility of being asked to follow on by just three runs.

Then Rhodes and Westbury put on 156 in 41 overs before being parted and by the close Worcestershire had moved onto 182-1 – and overall advantage of 329 heading into tomorrow’s final day.

Skipper Westbury will require just three more runs to complete his century.

Andy Carter picked up three wickets for the home side and also pulled off a fine leaping catch at long on to dismiss Iain Muirden.

Carter added to his one breakthrough yesterday evening by bowling Ben Claydon (25) after he played no stroke and then trapped Jack Potticary (1) lbw.

Northants were 224-9 at one stage but added 35 for the last wicket before Will Heathfield (12) was caught at first slip by Rhodes off Adam Finch.

Carter ended with 3-62, Finch 2-44 and Rhodes 2-38.

Rhodes and Westbury built effectively on their side’s sizeable lead, reaching their half centuries off 89 and 103 balls respectively.

Rhodes had made 76 off 117 balls with 12 fours when he was caught at cover.

But Westbury accelerated to 97 not out off 142 balls with 14 boundaries by the close.

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE SECONDS – FIRST INNINGS CONTINUED

(overnight 38-2)

Home lbw Grey 9

Gay b Grey 101

Davies b Finch 26

Claydon b Carter 25

Potticary lbw Carter 1

Cotton b Rhodes 5

White not out 44

Muirden c Carter b Rhodes 0

Heathfield c Rhodes b Finch 12

Extras 28

Total (all out) 259 in 67.3 overs

FOW: 50, 132, 192, 196, 201, 207, 224, 259

BOWLING

Brown 15-2-51-1

Carter 15-3-62-3

Grey 11-1-37-2

Ul-Hassan 6-1-13-0

Finch 11.3-2-44-2

Rhodes 9-3-38-2

WORCESTERSHIRE SECONDS – SECOND INNINGS

Rhodes c Home b Haddow 76

Westbury not out 97

Dell not out 5

Extras 4

Total (for 1 wicket) 182 in 46 overs

FOW: 156

BOWLING

Muirden 5-0-21-0

White 7-5-6-0

Claydon 7-2-26-0

Heathfield 6-0-20-0

Haddow 11-1-46-1

Davies 10-1-61-0