All-rounder Ed Barnard made invaluable runs and picked up the prized wicket of Derbyshire batter Wayne Madsen on a day of mixed fortunes for Worcestershire in the LV=Insurance County Championship match at New Road.
Barnard made 39 as Worcestershire, who resumed on 141-5, added 44 more runs before being bowled out with a lead of 55.
When he reached 13, Barnard surpassed his previous best first class run tally in a season of 746 achieved last summer before he was given out caught behind off Anuj Dal.
Joe Leach and Dillon Pennington then had Derbyshire on the back foot with two wickets apiece, reducing them to 87-4.
Madsen led a recovery, completing 1,000 runs in a season for the sixth time until Barnard came back into the attack to trap him lbw for 69 at 166-6.
But a century stand between Anuj Dall and Mattie McKiernan swung the game back in the balance during the final session as Derbyshire closed on 286-6 – a lead of 231.
Worcestershire encountered bowler-friendly conditions under cloudy skies this morning and faced an impressive opening spell from Derbyshire pace bowler Ben Aitchison.
Gareth Roderick (0) edged a delivery of extra bounce through to keeper Brooke Guest, Joe Leach (0) was lbw working to leg, and Josh Baker (2) pushed forward and was bowled.
After Barnard’s dismissal, former Worcestershire pace bowler George Scrimshaw wrapped up the innings when Muhammad Hasnain (1) was pouched at first slip.
The sun had come out by the time Derbyshire launched their second innings, but the ball initially continued to dominate over bat.
Leach made good use of the new ball on either side of lunch as Luis Reece (5) went back to a good length ball and was lbw, and then Guest (17) was bowled via an inside edge.
Opener Harry Came looked in good touch as Derbyshire wiped out their first innings arrears with eight wickets in hand.
But the return to the attack of Pennington, who picked up four first innings wickets, brought about a double breakthrough.
Came, on 39, went lbw to a delivery which arrowed back in and then Derbyshire captain, Leus du Plooy, was bowled after working to leg.
Derbyshire were only 37 ahead when they lost a fifth wicket as Hilton Cartwright was stumped in bizarre fashion.
He failed to connect with a legside hit aimed at spinner Josh Baker and was stumped as the ball rebounded off the pads of keeper Gareth Roderick onto the stumps.
Madsen swept Baker for four to complete 1,000 first class runs for the season – the fourth player in Division Two to reach the milestone in 2022 – but went lbw to a ball that nipped back in from Barnard.
But it was their last success of the day as Dal (85 not out) and McKiernan (58 not out) batted with plenty of purpose.