Somerset require a further 158 runs to avoid an innings defeat
Maybe it is the impending arrival of West Indian opener Chris Gayle that did the trick.
Whatever the reason, the timing of Worcestershire's best batting performance in 106 years of County Championship cricket has proved quite breathtaking.
Records fell like flies at New Road yesterday as the home team ran up a record score to home in on their first win in the last five Championship matches. When Worcestershire spinners Gareth Batty and Ray Price followed up the efforts of their batsmen by taking wickets for fun in the final session, the only sounds to be heard round the ground were those of mass sighs of relief.
Having failed to complete their expected victory after taking the extra half hour, those did turn to groans late on. But, barring cataclysmic luck with the weather, surely the cricketing Gods will smile this morning to enable Worcestershire to register a first victory under Steve Rhodes, the county's director of cricket.
To win with Rhodes in charge was a much-needed motive for the players to prove to their popular coach that he has not been the problem.
To do it without the distracting presence of their 'star turn' Shoaib Akhtar is perhaps just as big a message. But to do it following the return to form of so many under-performing players will be a massive boost of confidence as far as their fate this season is concerned.
It was always likely that the county might enjoy a few more runs yesterday morning on such a friendly pitch. Ben Smith and Steve Davies did not disappoint.
The pair had stretched their overnight stand of 144 to 270 in 51 overs and were only 11 short of the 26-yearold fourth-wicket county record held by Alan Ormrod and Younis Ahmed when Davies was caught and bowled by Keith Parsons for 148 - but not before Davies had completed a maiden firstclass century, the first Worcestershire-born player to hit one for his county in more than a decade since Gavin Haynes.
What made it particularly well-received by his fellow natives was that the Kidderminster lad took off his helmet and acknowledged all parts of the ground, rather than limit it to the accepted modern-day lofted thrust in the direction of the dressing-room. It also gave the England Under-19 star the possibly unique achievement of having raised his first-class best in four successive Championship matches.
From 49 against Leicestershire in mid-June, to 59 against Yorkshire in early July, 95 at Northampton and now this quality innings in which 29 of the 165 balls he faced went to the boundary.
After going past Stephen Moore as Worcestershire's leading run-scorer this season, Smith followed, cutting Parsons to backward point for
172. The county was clearly in a state of 'collapse' when stand-in skipper Batty gave Parsons his third wicket in 19 balls.
When Davies reached three figures, that made it only six times since the War that the county have had three centurions in the same innings. Painfully for Parsons, who has been part of the attack on each occasion, the last three have been against Somerset.
Tom Moody, Tim Curtis and Graeme Hick were the hundred-makers in 1995, when Worcestershire ran up their previous highest score of 670 for seven. Anurag Singh, Stephen Peters and Andrew Hall all raised their bat at Bath two years ago. This time their three centurymakers were Smith, Davies and once again Peters.
If eyebrows were raised at the delaying of a declaration while Daryl Mitchell was dropping anchor, at least it allowed for 20 minutes of spectacular, Kabir Ali-inspired, post-lunch entertainment to see them past that record total.
After the early loss of John Francis, to register Matt Mason's 50th first-class wicket of the season for the third successive year, Somerset briefly appeared to be making a good fist of their reply. But, having reached 138 for one, they saw Matthew Wood undone by Price's arm ball as he shouldered arms. That did the trick.
Batty struck three overs later to have the visitors' other dangerman Arul Suppiah caught behind and the floodgates were opened.
Two short-leg catches by Mitchell, one a brilliant one to remove visiting skipper Ian Blackwell, were enough to earn Batty his best figures since the first match of the season.
In fact, the only cloud over Worcestershire's most memorable day of the season was that they could not quite finish the job. That and how they're going to fit Gayle in for his first match next week!