Tom Fell and Riki Wessels both hit half-centuries to lead a Worcestershire CCC fightback on day two of the LV=County Championship match with Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground, Derby.
Fell helped launch the initial County recovery from the loss of three early wickets in reply to Derbyshire’s 390 all out with a 114 ball fifty on his way to the top score in the innings so far of 69.
Wessels then continued the impressive form he has shown and maintained right from the start of pre-season with a highly responsible and attacking innings.
He followed his hundreds against Somerset and Kent and fifty in the opening Championship game with Essex at Chelmsford with a polished 60 as Worcestershire closed on 243-7 from 86 overs.
Derbyshire resumed on 360-8, and Ben Aitchinson had an early escape when he edged Alzarri Joseph to Wessels at first slip.
But Ed Barnard quickly wrapped up the innings with wickets in successive overs.
The third bowling bonus point was secured with three balls to spare of the 110 overs when Aitchinson (11) got into a tangle trying to play a short ball, and the ball lobbed gently up to keeper Cox.
Barnard collected his fourth scalp of the innings when bowling Sam Conners for a duck to leave Harvey Hosein unbeaten on 83.
He finished with figures of 4-67 from 25.2 overs with Club Captain Joe Leach (2-69), Joseph (2-103), Brett D’Oliveira 1-41 and Dillon Pennington (1-69) the other wicket-takers.
Jake Libby, fresh from his magnificent 180 not out against Essex, was lbw for nought first ball to a ball of full length from Conners.
Fell immediately looked in good touch, collected his first boundary with a pull off Conners, and then drove him for another four.
Daryl Mitchell (9) was bowled by an inswinging delivery from Fynn Hudson-Prentice, which knocked the middle stump out of the ground.
New batsman Gareth Roderick twice cover drove Conners for boundaries, but on 12, he was dismissed by a tumbling return catch by Matt Critchley.
Fell completed his half-century off 114 balls with his 10th boundary – a four through mid-wicket off Michael Cohen.
He advanced onto 69 from 147 balls with 13 fours before being lbw to Conners with a delivery angled back into him.
Brett D’Oliveira (27) was caught low down at slip off Critchley to the last ball before tea was taken at 135-5.
Wessels immediately looked in good touch with boundaries via a splendid on drive back down the ground and a cover drive, both at the expense of Fynn Hudson-Prentice.
He batted fluently and with great responsibility, and a pull shot at Critchley’s expense brought up the 200 and first batting bonus point in the 68th over.
Wessels completed an excellent half-century and was given staunch support by Cox during a stand of 82 in 28.2 overs.
The partnership was broken when Wessels on 69 was bowled through the gate by a Critchley googly, having struck nine fours in his 95 ball knock.
Barnard survived a low caught and bowled chance off the same bowler before he had scored.
But Cox’s two-hour resistance was ended on 24 when he tried to leave a Reece delivery which came back and hit his bat and rebounded onto the stumps.