Chris Read has called on his Nottinghamshire team-mates to ‘up their standards’ in the final month of the season after a thrilling finish to their Championship match with Worcestershire.

Set a target of 358 to win from 74 overs on the final day, the visitors appeared to have little or no chance going into tea at 150-4, still 208 behind.

But a productive sixth-wicket partnership of 115 in 26 overs between Read and Ali Brown, combined with the attacking fields set by Worcestershire skipper Vikram Solanki, opened up an opportunity which his opposite number Read attempted to exploit.

Notts needed 94 from the last 10 overs, and while Brown drove to mid-on two overs later having hit 10 fours and two sixes in a fine innings of 84 from 110 balls, Read, with support from the hard-hitting Andre Adams, took it down to 61 off six, 32 off three and then 21 from the last over.

By that stage all the Worcestershire fielders were on the boundary and despite the best efforts of Read and Adams, Notts finished up seven runs short on 351-7, Read 70 not out from 86 balls, with nine fours and two sixes.

The Notts captain admitted a victory would have been a bonus given the way the match had progressed and said: “We weren’t in control of the game at any stage and to chase 358 in two sessions was a tough ask.

“The first priority was to make sure we didn’t lose. You can’t consider going for the win until you have a good platform to build on, and after losing Scott Newman and Mark Wagh in the fifth over, that wasn’t there.

“But after tea Ali and I built a partnership and with Worcestershire pressing for a win of their own, there were a lot of gaps in the field to hit.

“With 15 overs to go we realised that, while it was a long shot, the chase was worth a go and if the chance to score came up we would try and take it.

“We took it as far as we could but ultimately, with every man on the boundary, it became impossible.”

Earlier, a wet outfield delayed the start by 45 minutes before Worcestershire pushed on from their overnight total of 176-5 to declare on 242-6, Adams picking up 3-79 and Charlie Shreck 2-90.

While Newman and Wagh were both out for ducks, Alex Hales hit his first Championship half-century before being caught behind for 55, with Samit Patel contributing the same score at just shy of a run a ball.

The draw means Notts have not won in their last eight Championship fixtures and now lie 29 points behind Durham, having played a game more.

Read added: “All credit to Worcestershire for the way they played. The y wanted a result wicket and took the game to us.

“We held all the aces after winning the toss and to concede a 100 run deficit on first innings left us chasing the match. Simply put, we didn’t play enough.

“Catching up with Durham looks almost impossible but we will continue to go into each fixture looking to win. To do that we must up our standards, and that’s our target for the final month of the season - to finish second would still be a big achievement.”