Durham require seven wickets on the final day to defeat Worcestershire in their Specsavers County Championship Division Two game at Emirates Riverside after reducing the visitors to 31-3 in their second innings.

But, as they look set to make it six County Championship games without defeat, they are going to be without captain Cameron Bancroft for the rest of the summer after he was named in the Australia squad for the Ashes.

He is part of a 25-man group which will contest an intra-squad game in Southampton, with the squad reduced to 16 for the Ashes series, which starts in Birmingham on August 1.

National selector Trevor Hohns said of Bancroft: “He’s got on with business since he’s been able to play again. He’s doing everything he possibly can to get himself back into consideration.

"Even going back further, Cameron was making a fair amount of headway when he last played Test cricket for Australia, that was in South Africa I think.

"I think it's been well documented that he was our leading run scorer in South Africa. OK, what he has done, he has got on with business since he has been able to play again ... he is doing everything he can to get himself back into consideration and back into the Australian squad. He is scoring runs on a pretty regular basis."

The home side were able to build a match-winning position, accumulating runs with relative ease. Jack Burnham led the way with a brisk 50 - 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 352.

Chris Rushworth tore through the Worcestershire top order in the final hour, reducing the visitors to 11-3. Callum Ferguson and Ross Whiteley dug in to see out the rest of the session unscathed, although it will take a huge effort for them to avoid defeat as Durham look set to make it six games without defeat.

Durham began day three 28-0 with Bancroft and Alex Lees at the crease, holding a lead of 87. Bancroft started with two boundaries off the first two deliveries from Charlie Morris.

He and Lees put on 50, but Bancroft was to fall for 28, caught behind off a seaming Barnard ball. Lees kept up the momentum, grinding his way to 40 before he was bowled off his inside edge.

Barnard tried to drag Worcestershire back into the contest after lunch. He clipped the off stump of Gareth Harte before dismissing Graham Clark, who failed once again in the middle order, chopping a wide delivery on to his stumps. Ryan Pringle was pinned lbw by Morris.

However, at 142-5 Burnham held his composure. The 22-year-old reached his third half-century of the season. Burnham kicked on, finding the boundary with regularity. He cleared the fence and pulled Whiteley to the rope before the bowler had his revenge when Burnham clipped 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 mark. They put on 50 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 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 procession, being trapped lbw, leaving Worcestershire 11-3.