County Championship: Worcs battle back after Taunton rain

Taunton in the rain
Over three quarters of the day's play was was lost as the result of a rainy night in Taunton
LV= County Championship Division One, Taunton (day three, close)
Somerset 565-5 dec: Hildreth 220 no, Trego 130 no, Trescothick 85, Cooper 57
Worcestershire 172-4: Whiteley 78 no, Cox 52 no
Worcestershire need a further 244 runs to avoid the follow-on with six first innings wickets standing
Somerset 6 pts, Worcestershire 1 pt
Match scorecardexternal-link

Ross Whiteley and Ben Cox hit half-centuries as Worcestershire made light of a rain-affected third day of the County Championship match against Somerset at Taunton.

Resuming in mid-afternoon on 44-4 with their side in trouble, the pair remained together, adding 128 runs in the 22 overs that were possible.

Whiteley was on 78 at the close of play, with Cox still there on 52.

The visitors will resume on 172-4 on the final day, still trailing by 393.

Cox has 'previous' against Somerset
Ben Cox's half-century evoked memories of his Worcestershire debut at Taunton as a 17-year-old schoolboy in September 2009 when he made 61 on his first-class debut, partnering Daryl Mitchell, who went on to make 298.
Cox also made his career-best score against Somerset at New Road in May, hitting 109 as he shared a seventh-wicket stand of 168 with Joe Leach which helped their side to an innings victory.

They still require need a further 244 to avoid the threat of being asked to follow on but, with more rain forecast on Monday, a match of vital importance to the First Division survival of both clubs looks to be heading for a draw.

No play was possible until after tea because of the heavy overnight rain which lay on the covers and left the pitch saturated.

Sixth-placed Somerset were perhaps the more frustrated of the two sides, but having gone into the match eight points better off than seventh-placed Worcestershire, they have at least improved that advantage by taking six bonus points, to the visitors' one.

But, unless eighth-placed Sussex pull off an unlikely victory against county champions Yorkshire, the extra five points for a draw at Taunton would keep Steve Rhodes' Worcestershire side clear of the relegation zone going into the final month of the season.

And their first target on the final day will be eking out more batting points, especially if Whitely and Cox remain at the crease.