Worcestershire will be hoping for more heroics from middle-order batter Jack Haynes on day three of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside.
Haynes has hit a century in each of the last three Championship games and will resume tomorrow on 44 not out.
He shared in stands of 58 with Jake Libby, and 69 with Azhar Ali as Worcestershire closed on 140-3 in their first innings in reply to Durham’s 642-7 declared.
Worcestershire left armer Ben Gibbon picked up three wickets in the space of 10 balls this morning on his way to achieving career-best figures of 26-4-127-4.
It followed on from his five wickets for the County Select XI against New Zealand at Chelmsford in an encouraging start to his professional career.
The Worcestershire attack did not let their heads drop and continued to plug away during another long spell in the field.
There were also five catches for Gareth Roderick in his first Championship match in the wicket-keeper role for Worcestershire.
But undefeated centuries from Paul Coughlin and Ben Raine enabled Durham to post 642-7 declared from 155 overs.
Durham resumed on 375-3, and Jonathan Bushnell on 66 was fortunate when he lofted a delivery straight back from Dillon Pennington, which struck the hand of the bowler in his follow-through.
But Pennington probed away and made the breakthrough in his next over, with Bushnell having not added to his total when he edged to debutant Taylor Cornall at second slip low to his left.
Ed Barnard bowled a good spell pre-lunch without any reward, and Ravindra on 216 survived a confident shout for lbw from the all-rounder.
Ned Eckersley then inside-edged a delivery from the same bowler past his stumps before Gibbon made his treble breakthrough.
Ravindra’s fine knock of 217 – from 318 balls with 32 fours – was finally ended when he was caught down the leg side by Roderick.
Liam Trevaskis (0) gave Roderick another chance with a ball which swung away from him, and then Eckersley (6) pushed forward and fell to the same combination.
Durham were then 429-7, but that was Worcestershire’s last success with the ball as Coughlin and Raine shared an unbroken stand of 213.
Gibbon ended with figures of 26-4-127-4, Charlie Morris 27-4-97-1, Pennington 26-1-105-1 and Josh Baker 35-3-142-1.
Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira did not field during the latter part of the Durham innings today after landing on his shoulder.
When Worcestershire batted, Cornall (0) lost his off stump to the second ball of the innings from Chris Rushworth after pushing forward to a ball which kept low.
Libby got into his stride with square drive and back foot drives for boundaries at Rushworth’s expense.
Azhar had been in fine form before the three-week break from Championship cricket.
He cover drove Matt Salisbury to the ropes and then flicked Raine to fine leg to bring up the half-century in 11.4 overs.
The partnership was worth 58 when Libby (28) pushed at Raine and was caught by Durham captain Scott Borthwick at second slip.
Haynes joined forces with Azhar, with the duo having featured in three huge partnerships – 195 v Durham, 187 against Derbyshire and 281 off the Leicestershire attack – this summer.
The former England Under-19 player turned Raine off his hips for four, and then leg glanced him for another boundary.
The third-wicket pair encountered few problems in lifting the total to 127-2, but then Azhar (45) chopped on against Raine.
Morris came out as nightwatchman, and he and Haynes saw their side through to the close.