Worcestershire's Kervezee keeps Nottinghamshire at bay
|LV County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge|
|Close, day three: Nottinghamshire 382, Worcestershire 315 and 256-5|
|Notts 7pts, Worcs 6pts|
Alexei Kervezee hit a superb century to steer Worcestershire out of trouble against county champions Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
After Paul Franks hit 82 to help Notts reach 382, a first-innings lead of 67, the visitors then slumped to 56-4.
But, after Matt Pardoe's 28, a century stand between Kervezee (123no) and Gareth Andrew (56no) turned it round.
Worcestershire now go into the final day with an 189-run lead.
Nottinghamshire appeared to have taken an iron grip on the match thanks to Franks' 82.
Despite eventually being caught behind off Alan Richardson, who finished with 5-98, Franks' highest Championship score since May 2007 helped the hosts push on from their overnight 291-8 to post a lead.
But Kervezee's sparkling century boosted Worcestershire hopes of a first County Championship top flight win since August 2007.
The Dutch international showed real class with his fourth first-class hundred, from 176 balls, 18 of which went for four, not to mention a magnificent straight six to bring up three figures.
Notts began the day still 24 behind on a Trent Bridge wicket that had begun to show signs of variable bounce, with only seamers Luke Fletcher and Charlie Shreck still there to keep Franks company.
But 32-year-old Franks showed all his experience in guiding the tail through the whole of the morning session to help Notts claim two further batting points, surviving one chance on 40 when keeper Ben Cox failed to take a diving catch off Damien Wright.
Notts were then quickly among the wickets after the interval.
Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell lost his off-stump to Fletcher's off-cutter before James Cameron edged the seamer to first slip.
Vikram Solanki was then lbw to Andre Adams and, when Franks had Moeen Ali caught at point, Worcestershire still needed 11 more runs to make Notts bat again.
But up stepped Kervezee, a star performer in their promotion campaign of 2010, to counter attack with confidence.
Andrew proved a willing partner to the Dutchman, posting his own 50 off 68 balls with eight fours and a six, in a so far unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 119.
CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARIES
BBC Hereford & Worcester's Dave Bradley:
"An excellent fightback as Alex Kervezee, often the compiler of a good 30 or 40, played the long innings his side needed, interspersed with some big hits, including the six that took him to 100.
"Matt Pardoe again occupied the crease to stem the tide, and Gareth Andrew continues to look an all-rounder with a valuable half century.
"Notts will not want to chase 250 or more on the last day, but Worcestershire will have to bowl better than they did at the start of day three."
BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:
"Friday may offer other attractions but, for those attending the final day at Trent Bridge, a thrilling day of cricket seems assured with the match still in the balance.
"Notts clearly won the first two sessions, gaining momentum from an outstanding innings from Paul Franks.
"Alex Kervezee's response was impressive for Worcester and the scene is now set for either of these sides to go on and claim the spoils - with a truly 'regal' performance!"