Second day: Worcestershire lead Somerset by 174 runs with seven first-innings wickets intact
Who says they can't bat at New Road?
Runs have been hard to come by too often for too many of the willow-wielders of Worcestershire this season.
But Steve Rhodes' men yesterday made hay while the sun shone by running up their highest County Championship score of the summer. And the one surprise was that the only one to miss out on the carnage was this season's top run-scorer, Stephen Moore.
Ben Smith picked off his fourth hundred of the campaign, Stephen Peters provided a welcome return to form with 88 - his highest score in over a year - and Steve Davies compiled his third half-century in as many matches.
But leading the way as 472 runs were plundered in the day for the loss of just three wickets was a superb 161 on his final Championship appearance from Zander de Bruyn.
The South African allrounder, who jets out next week for international duty with South Africa A, has, by his own admission, struggled in four-day cricket this season, having previously hit just 337 runs in 15 Championship innings.
But he confidently become the county's first centurymaker since Smith hit his third hundred in four matches at Bath back in June.
The fact that Worcestershire have not boasted a centurion in the four matches since - and they have also lost all four - says everything about what has gone wrong over the past two months.
Since that last meeting with Somerset at Bath, both counties have gone through major changes.
That was Tom Moody's final game in charge for Worcestershire before hotfooting off to Sri Lanka to bequeath his successor Rhodes a whole host of potential dressing-room problems.
But there were encouraging signs yesterday that the final month of this season might yet be a happy one at New Road.
The only down side is that Worcestershire still have to travel to both Lancashire and Yorkshire, and cannot rely on facing bowling attacks as poor as Somerset's every week. Poor Andy Caddick, who has carried his attack single-handedly in recent weeks, said it all, the former England man pointedly spurning the customary warm-down to head straight for the sanctuary of the pavilion at day's end.
After losing Moore to a legside nick in mid-morning, the irony was that de Bruyn came in at No 3, in a role he would not otherwise have occupied had Graeme Hick been fit.
And he then put on 176 for the second wicket, Worcestershire's highest partnership (so far) this season in the company of Peters, who would not have been playing had Vikram Solanki been fit.
"It was the first time we've batted together," said de Bruyn. "And I know it's been hard for Stephen this season too, but we had a lot of fun out there.
"My one disappointment has been my form in four-day cricket, as I was hoping to score more runs in the Championship.
"It's been a long wait to have a knock like this and I'm just sorry it's taken me to the last game to get a hundred.
"But it would mean a bit more if we could now go on and win.
"We're just looking for a nice lead, and hope the wicket deteriorates tomorrow, so we can bowl them out again."
But first there could be a few more runs to come.
De Bruyn and Peters set the standard. They knocked off the 173 shared by Smith and Jamie Pipe for the ninth wicket against Derbyshire as the county's best partnership of the season until de Bruyn was caught driving in the covers.
But Smith is unbeaten on 117, just seven short of his 1,000 runs for the summer for the seventh time, and Davies looks very well set on 79. And, having put on 144 already, Smith might not take too long to have that record back in his possession.