County Championship: Will Gidman's fine debut keeps Kent on top against Worcester

Worcestershire all-rounder George Rhodes
Worcestershire all-rounder George Rhodes made his maiden first-class 50 at Canterbury
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Canterbury, day three
Worcestershire 211 & 213-6: Rhodes 55, Mitchell 43
Kent 451: Stevens 81, Dickson 79, Gidman 75*, Claydon 46, Coles 41
Kent (7 pts) lead Worcestershire (4 pts) by 27 runs

Worcestershire ended the third day at Canterbury in danger of an innings defeat by County Championship Division Two promotion rivals Kent.

After resuming on 397-9, on-loan Nottinghamshire all-rounder Will Gidman (75*) and Mitch Claydon (46) extended their last-wicket partnership to 75.

When the visitors batted again, 240 behind, George Rhodes (55) reached his maiden first-class half-century.

But Gidman took two wickets to help reduce Worcestershire to 213-6.

They still trail Kent by 27 runs with four wickets remaining and, barring bad weather, Steve Rhodes' side look on course for only their second Championship defeat of the season.

The only consolation for Rhodes was the form of his 22-year-old son George, on only his second first-class appearance.

Playing as an emergency opener in the absence of injured new England Lions international Brett D'Oliveira, he scored 55 in an opening stand of 94 with skipper Daryl Mitchell (43).

But Gidman removed both openers in quick succession and, despite 32 from Tom Fell, after the loss of Ross Whiteley to James Tredwell in the day's final over, the visitors' slim survival hopes now rest largely in the hands of overnight not out batsman Ben Cox (35*).

Kent off-spinner James Tredwell told BBC Radio Kent:

"It's been a docile sort of pitch but it's just starting to turn a little. You get your rewards if you stick to your line and length long enough.

"It's a patience pitch where you have to try and draw a mistake out of the batsmen. There's a little bit of rough, so I was trying to encourage the occasional drive when there's nothing going on.

"We're still 30 runs to the good and we're backing ourselves to finish the job off on the final day."

Worcestershire all-rounder George Rhodes told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"It was a great feeling and it would been even better had we not lost six wickets by the close. I really enjoyed the challenge and I'm so glad that I managed to take my opportunity,

"I knew on the way down to Kent that I'd be going in up top when Mitch said to me 'get your head around opening'.

"It's been a great experience against some pretty decent bowlers. It's a dry pitch and they're very much bowling wicket-to-wicket so it's hard to score fluently now."