County Championship: Mitchell ton builds big Worcestershire lead
|LV= County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day three)|
|Hampshire: 222 and 1-0 (3 overs)|
|Worcestershire 403-5 dec: Mitchell 142 no, Cox 69 no, Fell 48|
|Hampshire trail by 180 with all 10 second innings wickets standing|
|Worcestershire 8 pts, Hampshire 2 pts|
Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell scored his first Championship century in nearly a year to give his side a chance of victory against Hampshire.
On another badly rain-reduced day, play did not begin until after tea.
But Hampshire managed to take just two visiting wickets as Mitchell made an unbeaten 142, aided by Ben Cox (69 no).
Having declared on 403-5, Mitchell then put Hampshire back in to face three overs before the close, the home side finishing on 1-0.
|Worcestershire have Moeen available for a month|
|Worcestershire all-rounder Moeen Ali has been made available to play for Worcestershire for the next month after being left out of England's one-day squad. He will not be required again for international duty until the first Ashes Test begins against Australia in Cardiff on 8 July.Hampshire batsman James Vince was also left out of the 14-man squad.|
|"We have opted to rest Moeen Ali from this series," said national selector James Whitaker. "He will play cricket for Worcestershire in preparation for the Ashes next month."|
Worcestershire, 221-3 overnight, had to wait until 16:00 BST to get going again after heavy overnight rain had left small pools on the outfield.
But they made the most of the conditions as the sun came out at Southampton, Mitchell and Cox sharing an unbroken 114-run sixth-wicket stand which saw them to maximum bonus points, even allowing the luxury of a late declaration.
Although they failed to make a breakthrough, it denied Hampshire the chance of a second bowling point.
The hosts were hampered by injuries to wicketkeeper Adam Wheater and batsman Will Smith, who went for x-rays after being injured while fielding. Reserve keeper Lewis McManus was drafted in as substitute for Wheater.
Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs:
"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 captain Daryl Mitchell told BBC Hereford & Worcester:
"It was nice to get my first century of the season, the first since last 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.
''Ben Cox batted really well. He has played well all year, been very aggressive and has been in top form.
"Even so, we did exceptionally well to reach 400. With this lead, we've given ourselves a good chance of winning."