Double trouble for Somerset
Daryl Mitchell dented Somerset’s hopes of clinching runners-up spot in the LV= County Championship with his maiden double century on the opening day at Taunton.
Dropped by wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter on 28, the Worcestershire opener went on to score 232 not out, including a six and 45 fours, as his relegated side made the most of winning the toss in excellent batting conditions.
They ran up 408 for four, with 20-year-old David Wheeldon contributing an unbeaten 87 on only his fourth first-class appearance, also a career best.
The unbroken stand of 217 was a Worcestershire record for the fifth wicket against Somerset.
The key moment came with the visitors 51 without loss. Mitchell edged Ben Phillips and Kieswetter failed to hold a straightforward shoulder-high chance to his right.
David Stiff made the first breakthrough with the total on 73 as Stephen Moore edged an attempted pull. This time Kieswetter made no mistake.
Vikram Solanki helped Mitchell take the total to 109, but the Worcestershire skipper was visibly annoyed with himself as he guided a simple catch to Marcus Trescothick at second slip to depart for 15 in the last over before lunch.
Somerset looked to be getting on top when Kieswetter took a good diving catch off Willoughby to dismiss Moeen Ali for one.
But Mitchell then dominated a fourth-wicket stand of 80 with Alexei Kervezee, reaching his century off 160 balls, with 19 fours.
The inexperienced Kervezee made 19 before top-edging a cut shot off Stiff to Suppiah at point.
Wheeldon reached his maiden championship half-century off 77 balls, with 11 fours, as he and Mitchell became increasingly aggressive.
Mitchell raised both arms having cover-driven Willoughby for a boundary to bring up his double century. He had faced 262 deliveries and hit a six and 38 fours.