All-rounder Joe Leach led splendid lower resistance which earned Worcestershire an unexpected first innings lead in the LV = County Championship match with Derbyshire at Derby.
Worcestershire lost half of their side for 169 in reply to Derbyshire's 356 but the last five wickets added 216 to earn three vital batting points in the quest for promotion and a 29 run advantage.
Leach top-scored with 71 but he was well supported by Shaaiq Choudhry, Mitchell McClenaghan and Jack Shantry.
The Derbyshire openers Ben Slater and Billy Godleman responded with a 125 stand and their side will now look to set Worcestershire a final day target after ending on 145-2 – a lead of 116.
Worcestershire resumed on 221-6 in bright sunshine compared to the cloud cover of the opening two days and Leach and Choudhry batted with enterprise.
Leach went to his half century from 95 balls with his eighth boundary – a cut off Tony Palladino.
The 100 partnership between Leach and Choudhry came up in 32 overs and the third batting point was accrued when 300 was brought up in the 107th over.
It was left to spinner Wes Durston to break the stand with his fifth wicket when Leach shouldered arms and was bowled.
He struck 11 fours in his 142 ball knock and added 117 in 37 overs with Choudhry.
Choudhry also departed in the next over for an invaluable 44 when he gloved a legside delivery from Mark Footitt after two and a half hours of defiance.
But that was not the end of the resistance as the ninth wicket pair of McClenaghan and Shantry added a further 51 in 19 overs.
A boundary by McClenaghan off Dave Wainwright through mid-wicket put Worcestershire ahead before he was bowled by Durston for 27.
Shantry was last out for a season's best 37 when he edged Footitt to Wayne Madsen in the slip cordon to give the paceman his sixth wicket of the innings.
Slater and Godleman raised the 100 partnership in 32 overs and gradually accelerated during the evening session.
McClenaghan ended the partnership when Godleman (52) fell to a fine catch by keeper Ben Cox. Slater (65) was bowled by Choudhry four runs later.
Alex Hughes and Wayne Madsen both survived difficult chances to the normally dependable Daryl Mitchell in the slips off McClenaghan and Choudhry respectively in the closing minutes of the day.