Somerset overcome resilient Pears to go second
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Blackfinch New Road (day four):|
|Somerset 337 & 362-9 dec: Azhar 125; Moeen 5-107|
|Worcestershire 257 & 301: Milton 104*, Head 46, Magoffin 43; J Overton 4-82|
|Somerset (22 pts) beat Worcestershire (5 pts) by 141 runs|
Somerset eventually broke Worcestershire’s county-record 10th-wicket partnership to win by 141 runs and keep their title hopes alive.
Victory looked imminent after lunch with Division One’s bottom club 165-9, chasing 443 to win at New Road.
Debutant Alex Milton (104 not out) and last man Steve Magoffin (43) resisted for 38 overs in a stand of 136.
But the rearguard action was ended when Craig Overton had Magoffin caught at point by Josh Davey.
Victory on day four at New Road moved Somerset up to second in the table, 34 points behind leaders Surrey.
The Pears, resuming 392 runs behind on 50-2, went from 65-2 to 71-6 as Jamie Overton removed Travis Head (46) and Ed Barnard in consecutive balls.
Ross Whiteley (39) helped add 71 for the seventh wicket but Luke Wood and Dillon Pennington then departed in one Jack Leach over after lunch.
But wicketkeeper Milton scored his maiden first-class century as he and seamer Magoffin remarkably held out for more than two and a half hours, passing Worcestershire’s previous best 10th-wicket stand of 119 shared by William Burns and George Wilson in 1906, also against Somerset.
The visitors found the final breakthrough they required, however, with Jamie Overton (4-61 and 4-82) and Davey (4-68 and 3-43) both ending with career-best match figures.