County Championship: England's Keaton Jennings hits Lancashire ton to delay Pears

England opener Keaton Jennings made his third century in four Lancashire matches
England opener Keaton Jennings made his third century in four Lancashire matches
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Blackfinch New Road (day three):
Worcestershire 247 & 484-7 dec: Mitchell 163, Guptill 111, Fell 62, Cox 58*
Lancashire 130: Barnard 5-34 & 269-4: Jennings 135*, Davies 64
Lancashire (3 pts) need a further 333 runs to beat Worcestershire (4 pts) with six wickets in hand

Lancashire's England opener Keaton Jennings hit an unbeaten century at New Road to take the County Championship Division One game with bottom club Worcestershire into a fourth day.

Resuming on 361-4, the hosts batted on to declare at 484-7, Ben Cox having blazed an unbeaten 58 off 45 balls.

That set the visitors a potential world record target - a mammoth 602 to win.

Opening pair Jennings, who ended on 135, and Alex Davies put on 126 before Lancs lost wickets to close on 269-4.

Jennings, who made 29 after being recalled by England for the second Test against Pakistan at Headingley, was dropped on 50 at first slip by Ross Whiteley off stand-in home skipper Brett D'Oliveira

But he and Davies were within four runs of matching their entire team's first-innings score of 130 when Davies was trapped in front for 64.

Out-of-form Haseeb Hameed then made 20, his highest score in 10 Championship innings this season, before becoming D'Oliveira's second lbw victim.

Paceman Charlie Morris then struck twice more before the close, having both Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Rob Jones caught behind.

Dane Vilas, captain while Liam Livingstone is on England Lions duty, helped Jennings put on 17 more before stumps to leave the Red Rose needing an unlikely but still possible further 333 to win on day four.

A more realistic target is the 464 they scored against Surrey at The Oval in September 2007. Although they fell short in a narrowly failed victory bid that day, it is their highest-ever fourth-innings total.

Worcestershire bowling coach Alan Richardson told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"The batters did magnificently well in the third innings to give us that platform to set Lancashire a target. We knew it was going to be a bit of a graft and the wicket has certainly flattened out quite a bit from that first day.

"It has just given us the time hopefully to bowl them out. We tried to get as many as we could as quickly as we could. The idea of the timing of the declaration was that we could take the second new ball after three overs.

"The wicket has generally done more in the morning on all three days so the opportunity to do that was what we were looking for really and not to have the new ball option tonight when the wicket had flattened out after a day in the sun."

Lancs centurion Keaton Jennings told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"We showed what we can do in that last couple of sessions. The guys came out and really applied themselves and really got stuck in.

"The game has not gone. I've seen stranger things in cricket. Hopefully, if we bat the day, we could be in a great position to win. That responsibility lies with me and the batters who have still to come in.

"On day one, we twice had them in positions where we could have stamped our authority on the game at 80-5 and then when we were 77-0. That's cricket. We let them in and they have really dominated the game. That's what we should have done."

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