Durham need a further 148 with nine wickets standing at home to Worcestershire to record their fourth successive win in the LV= County Championship Division One.
After the fall of 19 wickets on the first day, only three went down in Wednesday's first two sessions before Worcestershire collapsed again. Australian left-hander Phil Hughes showed his Test class with a brilliant century in an opening stand of 148 with skipper Daryl Mitchell, but they were all out for 264.
They lost eight wickets after tea, six of them to reckless strokes as Callum Thorp picked up five and Scott Borthwick three.
Durham had four overs to face and scored three runs before Will Smith tried to withdraw his bat from the first ball of the last over and played on against Chris Russell.
Marcus Trescothick and Monty Panesar celebrated personal milestones on an absorbing second day of the match between Somerset and Sussex at Taunton. Trescothick completed his 50th first class century, contributing 123 to a Somerset first-innings total of 247, which featured a collapse from 241 for five.
Panesar was the man behind the Sussex fightback with career-best figures of seven for 60 from 31.5 overs. By the close the visitors had replied with 161 for six, Gemaal Hussain and Abdur Rehman claiming two wickets each.
Warwickshire were surprisingly knocked off course at Edgbaston after building a powerful position with Ian Westwood's second championship hundred against Middlesex in 19 days.
Having cruised past 200 with only two wickets down in response to 287, the Division One leaders were pegged back to 293 for eight - a slender leader of six - when a downpour halted a new-ball burst by resilient Middlesex.
Toby Roland-Jones took three for 16 in five overs and Tim Murtagh claimed the big prize when Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton was caught at second slip for 50.
Up to then it had been Westwood's day. If his recent 111 at Uxbridge was attritional - he took blows on the head, finger, ribs, thigh and thumb - here he was able to enjoy a more relaxed passage to 120.