Nottinghamshire have it all to do if they want to end a run of seven Championship games without a win and maintain any hope of overhauling Durham in the race for the Division One title.
A chastening third day’s play at New Road saw Notts bowled out by Worcestershire for 219 inside 55 overs, leaving them 115 runs behind the hosts.
And although early wickets from Andre Adams and Charlie Shreck left the relegation battlers wobbling at 33-4, a fifth wicket partnership of 142 between Steve Davies and Moeen Ali has given Worcestershire a lead of 291 going into the final day.
Davies was eventually caught at square leg off the final ball of the day to give Andy Carter the first Championship wicket of his career, but Director of Cricket Mick Newell cut a disappointed figure at the close.
Too many Notts batsmen gave their wickets away with poor shots and Newell said: “It was a very poor display.
“There’s a bit in the wicket for the seam bowlers, but there were some pretty poor dismissals and some loose, casual shots.”
Having branded the fixture a ‘must-win’ before the start, with Durham 37 points ahead with four games to play, Notts needed to show discipline and determination with the bat, beginning the day on 9-1.
Instead only Mark Wagh, Samit Patel and Ali Brown got past 17, with Wagh and Patel both playing poor shots to be caught in the 40s, while Brown was left unbeaten on 46 as he ran out of partners.
Newell added: “If we don’t win here, we probably have to accept our chances [of winning the title] have gone, and Worcestershire need to win if they are going to avoid relegation. It’s going to be a big day.”
TRENT BRIDGE IN 2018