County Championship: Worcestershire still in hunt against Surrey

Surrey's Morne Morkel
Morne Morkel has taken over 50 Championship wickets for Surrey in nine appearances
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Blackfinch New Road (day three):
Worcestershire 336 & 203: Fell 89; Morkel 5-24, Virdi 3-73
Surrey 268: Burns 122, Pope 48; Parnell 3-56 & 70-0
Surrey (5pts) need another 202 to beat Worcestershire (6pts) with 10 wickets left

Tom Fell hit his second half-century of the game to give Worcestershire a chance of victory over champions-in-waiting Surrey at New Road.

Fell's 89 was his highest score of the summer, but superb bowling by Morne Morkel saw the home side subside from 181-4 to 203 all out in 13 overs.

It left the Division One leaders with a victory target of 272.

And they were 70-0 at stumps, with Rory Burns 33 not out, having made 122 in their first-innings total of 268.

Following Somerset's two-day defeat by Hampshire, Burns' side only need to avoid defeat to win the title for the first time since 2002 and 19th time in all - but they would like to do so in style by clinching a ninth successive Championship win.

Surrey only added 55 to their overnight 213-6 to concede a first-innings deficit of 68, with captain Burns caught at mid-on off Ed Barnard, and a stand of 65 between Fell and Daryl Mitchell gave Worcestershire a solid start in reply.

Mitchell went for 15, brilliantly caught one-handed by a diving Burns at slip, but Fell went on to reach 50 off 79 balls.

However, his eventual dismissal, bowled by a beauty from Morkel just before tea, was the catalyst for a collapse, which included the first-ball dismissal of Joe Clarke, who was caught at short leg off spinner Amar Virdi (3-73).

Burns went along in relative comfort for the final 20 overs of play with Mark Stoneman, who collected a boundary from the penultimate delivery of the day by Barnard to reach the close on 37.

Worcestershire are bottom of Division One, with seventh-placed Yorkshire close to completing victory against Roses rivals Lancashire, who are sixth.

Pears batsman Tom Fell told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"Am I disappointed not to get a century? Definitely. But I'm disappointed not to have kicked on especially after having two innings of fifty plus in the game. It would have been nice for one of those to be a hundred but it was nice to find a little bit of form.

"Morne Morkel bowled fantastically well. He was really relentless and that's why he has been such a great Test bowler over the years.

"When you've got players like that in the opposition who can change the game, it does make it difficult.

"I still thought we put ourselves in a half decent position to win, although obviously probably being a little bit lighter than we wanted to be at tea."

Surrey head coach Michael Di Venuto told BBC Radio London:

"We are in a good position. It was not ideal with the bat. We would have liked a lot more runs. But it was a tremendous effort from the bowlers to knock them over for 203.

"And now the opening pair have given us a great start. They played some lovely shots against the new ball, put away the bad ball and displayed some good defence.

"Rory Burns is continually scoring runs. That is what he has done all year and he is doing it again. He is in terrific form.

"Morne Morkel's spell was class. It was full, fast and at the stumps. He is quality, isn't he."

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