Josh Tongue produced an impressive display of pace bowling and was rewarded with three wickets for Worcestershire on day three of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Gloucestershire at New Road.
The 25-year-old troubled all of the Gloucestershire batters and produced his best analysis since returning to action from his career-threatening shoulder injury.
He finished with figures of 14-2-37-3 on a challenging day which saw Gloucestershire close on 172-3 in their second innings – an overall lead of 246.
After the wash-out of the second day, mobile heating apparatus helped to dry out the bowlers run-ups at both ends before play was able to get underway at 12 noon with a minimum of 88 overs remaining.
Worcestershire resumed on 118-7 in their first innings with Matthew Waite, a century-maker against Derbyshire, unbeaten on 37.
He straight drove Ajeet Singh Dale for two but, on 42, was caught at second slip off the same bowler.
Tongue (11) battled away for 52 deliveries in a determined fashion before he lost his leg stump to Dale.
Ben Gibbon (13 not out) off-drove and cover-drove Tom Price for successive boundaries before Dillon Pennington (six) drove apt Dale and was caught behind.
Dale finished with career-best figures of 6-41 from 17.1 overs.
Worcestershire went hunting for early wickets in Gloucestershire’s second innings and Joe Leach and Gibbon gave a searching examination to the openers.
Chris Dent survived a head-high chance on six to first slip off Leach.
There were plenty of false strokes, playing and missing and edges which did not quite carry to the fielders, which on another day might have yielded a profitable reward for the Worcestershire bowlers.
Tongue came into the attack, and the England Lions pace bowler bowled a probing spell and eventually made the initial breakthrough.
Australian Test batter Marcus Harris (26) deliberately tried to uppercut over the slips and was caught behind by Ben Cox.
There continued to be enough encouragement in the pitch for the bowlers as Gloucestershire reached 105-1 by tea.
Tongue returned for a second spell and again worked up a good pace and was rewarded with a second scalp.
Bracey (51) attempted a hook shot and was caught down the legside by Cox shortly before the players left the field briefly for bad light.
When they returned, there was a third breakthrough for Tongue when Miles Hammond went for a pull, tried to pull out of the shot and lobbed a catch to Waite at mid on.
Umpires Chris Harris and Ian Blackwell finally abandoned play for the day with 17 overs remaining.