Henry Cullen steered Worcestershire Seconds to three batting points before they bowled out Northamptonshire for 225 to earn a first innings lead of 75 on day two of the Second Eleven Championship match at Northampton.
Cullen resumed on nine not out in a total of 258-7 and went on to make an unbeaten 41 from 80 balls with six fours as Worcestershire reached 300 all out.
He lost his overnight partner, Ben Gibbon (5), without adding to the overnight score but then was given good support by Josh Dickenson (12) in a stand of 40 for the ninth wicket.
Seven runs were needed for the third batting point when Dickenson was dismissed, and Cullen managed to get to that milestone with a single off Alex Russell before Mitchell Stanley (0) was last out.
The Worcestershire bowlers then got to work and only a century from opener Ben Curran prevented them from obtaining an even more substantial lead.
James Cronie (5) was undone by a delivery from Gibbon, which he tried to leave but nicked through to keeper Cullen.
Josh Cobb (10) lobbed up a catch to mid-wicket off Stanley, and Charlie Thurston (10) took a step forward to a ball from triallist Roshan Balaji and was bowled.
Taylor Cornall held onto a good catch at second slip away to his left to account for James Sales (12) off Ben Parker.
Gibbon returned for a probing second spell, in which he hit good areas and swung the ball, and he found the edge of Harry Gouldstone’s bat before he had scored, with Cullen taking the chance.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, with only Curran keeping the Worcestershire attack at bay.
Nathan Buck (26) provided Cullen with another catch off Stanley, and Brandon Glover (11) was bowled by Parker.
Simon Kerrigan (25) went to pull Balaji and skied a simple catch to Cullen – his fourth of the innings.
Cornall’s occasional spin accounted for Curran (109) when he went for a reverse sweep and only picked out Parker.
Balaji wrapped up the innings by bowling George Gowler (1), and he finished with 11.4-3-42-3, Gibbon 11-3-25-2, Parker 14-4-48-2, Stanley 10-0-54-2 and Cornall 1-0-1-1.
Worcestershire openers Tom Fell (14 not out) and Cornall (19 not out) then negotiated 11 overs in reaching 36-0 before bad light ended play at 6.40pm with the loss of 12 overs.
*Gibbon has parted company with the game at Northampton after two days to join up with the first team squad preparing for Thursday’s LV=Insurance County Championship match with Durham at New Road.
Fellow pace bowler, Cameron Jones, will replace Gibbon for the final day of the Seconds match on Thursday.