Worcestershire scent rare victory as Mitchell, Rutherford build on Morris strikes
Worcestershire 205 (Hogan 4-53) and 153 for 2 (Rutherford 52, Mitchell 52*) lead Glamorgan 193 (Morris 5-73) by 165 runs
Paceman Charlie Morris and openers Hamish Rutherford and Daryl Mitchell have left Worcestershire daring to dream of a first Specsavers County Championship win for four months after a day of dominance against Glamorgan at Blackfinch New Road.
Paceman Morris earned Worcestershire a narrow first innings lead with his third five wicket haul of the season. He finished with figures of 5 for 73 from 17.5 overs as the visitors were dismissed for 193 in 65.5 overs to give Worcestershire a 12-run advantage.
Rutherford then raced to a 51-ball half century and, with Mitchell digging in for an unbeaten 52, Worcestershire closed day two on 153 for 2.
It was a rare day of success for the home side who began the campaign as one of the favourites for promotion but who went into this game just five points ahead of bottom-placed Leicestershire.
Glamorgan will be hoping to make significant inroads tomorrow morning otherwise they could be facing a major fourth-innings target on a wicket still offering some assistance to the bowlers.
Morris struck in successive overs after Glamorgan resumed on 44 for 2 when West Indian opener Kraigg Brathwaite (19) was caught behind and Billy Root (8) drove a wide delivery to cover.
Samit Patel (5), on loan from Nottinghamshire, pulled a short ball from Adam Finch straight to deep backward square, before Moeen Ali held onto a sharp head high return catch offered by David Lloyd (35). Captain Chris Cooke (24) then fell victim to a low first slip catch by Riki Wessels off Joe Leach.
Morris returned after lunch to bowl Ruaidhri Smith (18) and completed his five-for by having Michael Hogan (15) caught at deep fine leg while in between Lukas Carey (16) drilled Moeen straight to cover.
Rutherford (52) ensured Worcestershire built on their narrow first innings advantage in quickfire fashion. He reeled off a series of impressive drives and raced to a 51-ball half century with nine boundaries out of an opening stand of 70 with Mitchell.
The New Zealander eventually edged Smith to second slip but Moeen kept the momentum going for the home side. He swept Patel for four and twice cover drove Smith to the ropes as the Worcestershire 100 came up in the 26th over.
But after making 26 the England all-rounder aimed a big shot through mid-wicket off Patel and holed out to Hogan at mid off.
Mitchell completed his first half century since an unbeaten 64 against Glamorgan at Cardiff in early July shortly before the close with a cover drive for four off Smith. It was his sixth boundary and came from 143 balls.
Jack Haynes also batted with great maturity and patience on his home Championship debut and was unbeaten on 22 at the close after surviving an early chance.