WORCESTERSHIRE were denied the chance of a third Championship win by another wash-out at Bristol and no one was more frustrated than Vikram Solanki.

He was left dangling on 161 needing just 11 more runs for a career-best and no-one sympathised more than the former England batsman Bill Athey.

The County coach said: "We all felt for him, but there will more big scores for when he is at the crease and scoring there isn't a more entertaining bat."

Ten points from the draw leave Worcestershire contesting the leadership in Division Two with Warwickshire but nothing pleased Athey more than the way they denied Gloucestershire a single batting point.

"It was only by one run but that could be all-important come September," he predicted. "This division is going to be very tight and every point will count.

"The new system is making every player aware of that. Last year our batting wasn't good enough and that is why we are in the second division. Now we are a much stronger side in all departments."

Athey added: "We were well positioned for a win if only the weather had given us a chance.

"The plan was to push ahead for another batting point and then Gloucestershire would have looked very vulnerable to our attack."

Rain which had affected all four days left Worcester stranded on 310-6. Under the new vast covers at Bristol the pitch was dry but the outfield could take no more. This month the waterhog has pumped away 12,000 gallons.

Chances of play were minimal but umpires George Sharp and Trevor Jesty had lunch before formally abandoning the game leaving Worcestershire with ten points and Gloucestershire six.

There was another plus point for Athey as his latest knee operation has gone well. He was hoping to throw away his crutches after seeing a specialist yesterday.