Worcestershire 151 and 31 for 3 (Rushworth 3 for 4) need another 321 runs against Durham 212 and 290 for 8 dec (Burnham 76, Barnard 4-79)
Durham require seven wickets on the final day to defeat Worcestershire in their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at Emirates Riverside after reducing the visitors to 31 for 3 in their second innings.
The home side were able to build a match-winning position, accumulating runs with relative ease over the course of the day. Jack Burnham led the way with a brisk fifty - matching his highest score of the season. Ed Barnard claimed four wickets for the second time of the match, but he was powerless to prevent Durham setting a daunting total of 352.
Chris Rushworth tore through the Worcestershire top order in the final hour, reducing the visitors to 11 for 3. Callum Ferguson and Ross Whiteley were able to dig in to see out the rest of the session unscathed, although it will take a huge effort for them to avoid defeat on the final day.
Durham began day three on 28 without loss with Cameron Bancroft and Alex Lees at the crease, holding a lead of 87 runs over the visitors. Bancroft - playing his final match before joining up with the Australia training squad ahead of the Ashes - made a good start to the day, scoring two boundaries off the first two deliveries from Charlie Morris.
He and Lees put on fifty for their opening stand, but Bancroft was to fall for 28, caught behind off a seaming Barnard ball. Lees kept up the momentum for the home side, grinding his way to 40 before he was bowled off his inside edge by Dillon Pennington.
Barnard tried to drag Worcestershire back into the contest after lunch. He clipped the off stump of Gareth Harte before dismissing Graham Clark, who chopped a wide delivery onto his stumps. Ryan Pringle was then pinned lbw by Morris to give the visitors a glimmer of hope after reducing Durham to 142 for 5.
However, Burnham held his composure at the other end to reassert the home side's control. The 22-year-old took the attack to the Worcestershire bowlers, reaching his third half-century of the season. Burnham kicked on after passing the milestone, finding the boundary with regularity. He cleared the fence and pulled Whiteley to the rope before the bowler had his revenge when Burnham clipped the ball loosely to Ferguson at mid-wicket.
Ned Eckersley and Ben Raine continued their exploits from the first innings pushing Durham's lead over the 300-run mark to compound the visitors' frustration. The duo put on fifty for the seventh wicket before Raine was bowled by Joe Leach for 28, while Eckersley soon followed to Barnard, edging the ball onto his stumps. Nathan Rimmington and Brydon Carse carried the home side to a lead of 350 before Bancroft declared.
It did not take long for Rushworth to make inroads, striking in his second over to clean bowl Daryl Mitchell through the gate, to claim his 50th first-class wicket of the season. Rushworth was on point again to remove Riki Wessels' middle stump, while Joshua Dell continued the procession, trapped lbw by the veteran seamer, leaving Worcestershire 11 for 3.
Ferguson and Whiteley held firm amid impressive bowling from the hosts to survive the rest of the evening session, although the visitors still require 321 runs to win.