Alzarri Joseph’s big-hitting helped Worcestershire CCC secure three batting points on day three of the LV=County Championship match with Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground.
Joseph hit eight fours and a six in his 46 from just 55 balls and was well supported by Ed Barnard as Worcestershire recovered from 135- to reach 305 all out.
It was a fine fightback and meant Derbyshire’s first-innings lead was restricted to 85.
Joseph enjoyed an early success with the ball but half-centuries from Matt Critchley, who had picked up five wickets, and Wayne Madsen helped Derbyshire to 268-5 by the close – an overall lead of 353.
Worcestershire resumed on 243-7, with the second new ball having been taken shortly before yesterday’s close.
Joseph had scored 80s against New Zealand and Bangladesh in Test cricket during the winter, and the West Indies paceman soon showed his power with the bat.
He pulled a delivery from Michael Cohen down to fine leg to bring up the 20 and secure a second batting bonus point for the County.
Joseph then had bowler Sam Conners and non-striker Barnard diving for cover as he hammered the ball straight back down the ground for another boundary.
He was full of positive intent and swatted a Cohen delivery backward of square to the ropes, and then Barnard leg glanced the same bowler for four.
The 50 partnership for the eighth wicket came up in just 79 balls, but after one more run was added, Barnard on 23 drove at spinner Critchley and was caught by Madsen at slip away to his right.
Joseph continued on the offensive, and Critchley was lofted over mid-on for four.
Club Captain Joe Leach (7) was caught at cover off Fynn Hudson-Prentice with one run required for a third batting point.
But Joseph brought up the 300 in a grand manner with a massive straight six off Critchley before he was bowled later in the same over.
When Derbyshire batted for a second time, opener Billy Godleman retired through injury when on five.
Joseph made the first breakthrough when Luis Reece (17) edged a ball slanted across him, and Ben Cox pulled off a fine catch low to his left.
Barnard then came around the wicket and bowled Leus du Plooy (28) behind his legs for 28 shortly before the break in play to honour HRH, The Duke Of Edinburgh, whose funeral was held at Windsor today.
When the players returned, Critchley and Madsen upped the tempo for Derbyshire and added 129 in 26.4 overs.
But then Daryl Mitchell dismissed the pair of them. Madsen (66) went back to try and work the ball to leg and was plumb lbw.
Then first innings, century-maker Critchley was bowled by Mitchell for 84 at 238-4.
Spinner Brett D’Oliveira struck when Anuj Dal went back and attempted a cut but was bowled for seven.
Mitchell finished with 2-34, Barnard 1-21, Joseph 1-35 and D’Oliveira 1-84.