Mixed farewell for Langer
Justin Langer is set to bow out of cricket with 28,382 first-class runs after making 64 in his final innings for Somerset on the third day of the LV= County Championship match at Taunton.
The 38-year-old former Australia opener has indicated this will be his last season as a player and his illustrious career could well end with a shock defeat as relegated Worcestershire continued to dominate this Division One contest.
The visitors made Somerset follow on after dismissing them for 280, a first-innings deficit of 291, and then reduced the home side to 203 for four by the close, still 88 behind - Arul Suppiah top-scoring with 83.
Langer's hopes of going out with an 87th first-class century ended when he fell to a sharp catch at backward point by Moeen Ali off Gareth Andrew.
The departing Somerset captain looked devastated, not least because the dismissal left his side 163 for three in their second innings and in deep trouble.
An exaggerated wave of the bat as he left the ground signalled the end of a career which started in the winter of 1991-92.
As well as the 86 tons, his 18 years in the game have featured 110 first-class half-centuries and seen him become the highest first class run-scorer in the history of Australian cricket.
Sadly, Langer's county colleagues could not rise to the occasion of his farewell game.
Starting the day 184 for three in their first innings they managed to lose 11 wickets on a blameless pitch.
Matt Mason finished with 3-60 and Andrew 3-75 as only tail-enders Alfonso Thomas (38) and David Stiff, whose unbeaten 30 included a six and four fours, offered any resistance in a wretched first innings batting effort liberally laced with loose shots.
Things got even better for Worcestershire in the opening over when Somerset batted again.
The country's leading scorer, Marcus Trescothick, was caught at second slip, slashing at a ball from Mason, for only his second duck of a memorable championship campaign, which has seen him make 1,817 runs at an average of 75.7.
Suppiah needed some good fortune early on, but then blossomed with some sweetly timed strokes off his legs, reaching his half-century off 65 balls, with a six and nine fours.
Langer's half-century occupied 110 deliveries and featured eight boundaries as the pair added 142 before Suppiah was brilliantly caught down the leg side by 17-year-old debutant wicketkeeper Ben Cox at full stretch off Andrew.
The downfall of Langer saw Worcestershire in with a great chance of recording their first and only championship victory of the summer.
And they took a step closer when James Hildreth's miserable end-of-season form continued as, on 18, he top-edged Richard Jones and presented a simple catch to Cox.