Somerset 312-3 v Worcestershire
Marcus Trescothick’s third century in his last six LV County Championship innings gave Somerset immediate control of their rain-delayed clash with Division One strugglers Worcestershire at New Road.
After a first-day wash-out, the former England opener scored 142 off 201 balls and Justin Langer’s unbeaten 89 took him to the brink of becoming the highest-scoring Australian in first-class cricket. He needs six more to beat Sir Donald Bradman’s total of 28,067.
Vikram Solanki’s decision to put Somerset in on a green pitch was probably correct for the conditions but the Worcestershire captain has been left short-handed with injuries to Kabir Ali and Ashley Noffke on top of the season-long absence of Simon Jones.
Matt Mason (two for 74) bowled economically until suffering some rough treatment late in the day but the other seamers struggled for line and length as Trescothick hit 27 boundaries while facing 201 balls.
Consistency has been a by-word for the 33-year-old left-hander this summer. In 14 visits to the middle in the Championship he has scored four hundreds and posted five half-centuries including three dismissals in the 90s. To make the day doubly difficult for Worcestershire they failed to take any of the chances or half-chances that came their way.
Suppiah had scored only 14 when he was given a reprieve by Mason in his follow-through and he later picked up one of his seven fours when an edge off Chris Whelan brushed Daryl Mitchell’s fingertips at second slip.
The openers re-started after lunch with 50 runs in six overs and eventually put on 140 – their fifth three-figure partnership in nine Championship matches – before Suppiah was leg-before to Mason for 47.
Trescothick was then given a let-off on 73 when Stephen Moore was unable to hold a fierce drive to extra cover off Gareth Andrew in the formative stages of another century stand with Langer.
The Somerset skipper seized his opportunity to find some form when taking only 67 balls to reach his first 50 in 11 Championship innings since making an unbeaten 122 against Durham on May 1.
The second-wicket stand was worth 169 when Trescothick was caught behind, attempting to run a ball from Mason to third man.
In the next over from Mitchell, Peter Trego, having scored only one, was caught at mid-off.
Whether Somerset have enough time to force victory remains to be seen.