Alan Richardson completed his second 10-wicket return in a week as Worcestershire piled the pressure on Gloucestershire in their LV= County Championship Division Two match at New Road.
After his side had batted on to make 457, Richardson led the push for victory with 3-34 as Gloucestershire continued to struggle on a ground where they have not won in the championship for 27 years.
Needing 223 to avoid an innings-defeat, they were still 136 short of their target on closing the third day because of bad light at 87 for five.
At the age of 38, the veteran seamer is in the form of his life with career-best match figures of 12-63 in the two-day win against Kent and so far has a return of 11-71 in the current game following his 8-37 in the first innings.
Yet up to the trip to Canterbury last week, he was beginning to feel he ‘couldn’t buy a wicket’ after taking only 6-282 in the first four matches of the season.
Now his mood is upbeat after playing on two helpful pitches. When the ball is new and nipping around, as it has done in this match, he is likely to cause problems for the best batsmen.
Gloucestershire had no answer on the first day and they were again in trouble when batting again between afternoon showers.
After an initial flurry of boundaries, Richardson brought one back into Chris Dent’s pads and claimed a second success in his next over when wicketkeeper Michael Johnson held a straightforward chance from Dan Housego, who fell for nought.
Gloucestershire’s captain, Michael Klinger, who played for Worcestershire in the first part of last season, looked in good form with five boundaries, but having reached 26 he played on as soon as Gareth Andrew switched ends to replace Richardson.
Hamish Marshall stayed for more than an hour but then edged Chris Russell’s first ball down the leg side and Richardson claimed the bigger prize when Alex Gidman was also caught behind after making 26 in 33 overs.
Gloucestershire’s struggle was tough on teenage pace bowler Craig Miles after his efforts in taking 6-99 in only his fourth championship appearance.
When Worcestershire resumed at 302 for three, Moeen Ali added only one run before he was out for 123, pulling Miles to square-leg for the first of three wickets in nine balls.
The home side could have wobbled when Neil Pinner fell to Liam Norwell for 18, but the ever-dangerous Andrew smacked 66 from 71 balls and put on 98 with Jack Shantry - who made 31 - before Miles took two of the last three wickets.