Worcestershire 101 for 2 trail Hampshire 428 (Wood 61, Terry 58, Coles 50*) by 327 runs
Loan signing Matt Coles showcased his talent with both bat and ball as Hampshire put pressure on Worcestershire at New Road.
Coles scored a 38-ball half-century as Hampshire took maximum batting points and then dismissed Matt Pardoe with his third ball when Worcestershire reached 101 for 2. James Tomlinson had Daryl Mitchell neatly taken at second slip by Liam Dawson but Moeen Ali and Thilan Samaraweera had reduced the deficit to 327 when bad light ended play.
After rejecting a new contract with Kent, Coles joined Hampshire last month with five Championship matches remaining in which to show he could fit into a revamped squad at the Ageas Rose Bowl next summer. But while his seam bowling is the priority interest for potential employers, his ability to make runs as a combative left-handed batsman has come to the fore so far.
Having held up Lancashire for three hours when scoring 68 in an unsuccessful attempt to deny the divisional leaders at Southport, he showed the aggressive side of his game when Hampshire needed quick runs to take final batting point. Five fours and three sixes took him to 50 not out by the time Graeme Cessford and Jack Shantry polished off the last two wickets in successive overs.
In making their sixth first innings score of 400 or more this summer, Hampshire often profited from a short boundary on the River Severn side of the ground. Yet the second day actually began well for Worcestershire as they removed the overnight pair with only one run added to the score.
When James Vince edged Alan Richardson's first ball it was parried by Mitchell and held, with some irony, by Moeen at first slip - 102 runs after dropping Hampshire's century-maker when he had made only 4. The alert Ross Whiteley pounced from cover to run out Adam Wheater but Sean Terry, returning to the four-day team after a break of 16 months, and Michael Bates regained control in a partnership of 77 in 24 overs.
When Bates was lbw for 41, it was a well-deserved success for Richardson. The 38-year-old is now on 63 Championship wickets for the season after taking four for 69 in 34 overs.
But Hampshire still had a lot more to offer. Sean Terry, son of former county player and coach, Paul, made a Championship-best 58 before clipping Whiteley to midwicket and Chris Wood waded in with 10 fours until he was lbw to Moeen for 61 from 66 balls.
Hampshire vs Worcs
England Domestic Season
County Championship Division Two