County Championship: Azhar Ali hits debut ton to put Somerset in charge against Worcestershire
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Blackfinch New Road (day three):|
|Somerset 337 & 362-9 dec: Trescothick 71, Azhar 125; Moeen 5-107|
|Worcestershire 257 & 50-2: Head 36*; Mitchell 1-6|
|Worcestershire (5 pts) need another 393 runs to beat Somerset (6 pts)|
A superb century by debutant Azhar Ali on day three helped Somerset set Worcestershire a daunting 443 to win.
Pakistan batsman Azhar hit 125, with two sixes and 13 fours, before falling to England’s Moeen Ali (5-107).
Somerset declared on 362-9 after Azhar was caught behind and Worcestershire’s chase began poorly when Daryl Mitchell was lbw by Josh Davey.
Jamie Overton bowled Moeen for six with the final ball of the day to leave the home side 50-2, needing another 393.
Despite losing three wickets for 23 runs to slip from 97-0 to 120-3, Azhar’s untroubled century saw Somerset surpass 300 for the second time in the match.
He shared stands of 69 with Tom Abell (31) and 55 with Craig Overton (29) before adding 48 for the final wicket with Josh Davey, who was left 20 not out when the declaration came.
And Somerset ended the day on a high as Overton produced a superb delivery which pitched on middle leg and hit Moeen’s off stump.
Australian Travis Head is still there on 36 not out, but if Worcestershire manage to chase down the target, it will be the county’s second highest successful run chase.