Worcestershire keeper-batter Gareth Roderick demonstrated great stamina and application to defy Derbyshire on day three of the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter at New Road.
Roderick produced another excellent performance behind the stumps for the 143 overs in Derbyshire’s first innings.
He was then straight back in the thick of the action immediately in the opening batters role into which he has slotted for the past two games.
Roderick struck an unbeaten 38 off 57 balls as Worcestershire reached 70-2 from 22 overs before bad light stopped play.
There was also the encouraging sight of debutant Rehaan Edavalath (eight not out) looking composed in difficult conditions for batting with interruptions for bad light.
Worcestershire will now be looking to show plenty of determination and patience on the final day to try and earn a draw after beginning their second innings with a deficit of 341.
They were unable to break the sixth wicket stand of Derbyshire captain Leus du Plooy (238 not out) and Anuj Dal (141 not out) before the visitors declared on 578-5.
Joe Leach, the pick of the Worcestershire bowlers, came close to claiming a third wicket in the opening over of the day when Dal (20) survived a chance to second slip.
Dal also had a life at deep mid wicket off the occasional bowling of acting captain Jake Libby when on 115.
Leach finished with figures of 31-6-91-2 and he now has 34 wickets this season.
Dillon Pennington (24-3-73-2) and Navdeep Saini (29-4-122-1) were the other Worcestershire wicket-takers.
When Worcestershire batted, Libby and Gareth Roderick were full of attacking intent.
Libby was dropped at second slip in Conor McKerr’s first over but then twice cover drove Nick Potts for boundaries.
He then pulled the same bowler over the mid wicket boundary for six.
Libby and Roderick added 38 in only five overs but then Worcestershire lost two wickets either side of tea.
Libby went to pull Luis Reece and was caught off a skier by keeper Brooke Guest running around to deep backward square.
Azhar Ali (3) battled away for 33 balls in gloomy light but then tried to work Potts to leg and was lbw.
Edavalath scored his first runs at first class level when he steered Alex Thomson to the third man boundary and he then cover drove Reece to the ropes.
Roderick said: “Quite a long day. As a unit it is quite clear what we’ve got in front of us. We’ve got a day to bat to save a game of cricket.
“It is straightforward what is ahead and now we’ve got to go out and execute that.
“We know as a batting unit we didn’t get as many runs as we should on day one. We had no one who went ‘big’ and they had two guys who went very ‘big’ and batted extremely well.
“We stuck at it as best as we could with the ball. We acknowledge in that first session yesterday we were off the mark and gradually got better but their guys got in on a pretty placid wicket with a ball that wasn’t offering a huge amount.
“The job is going to be for us to try and replicate what they did yesterday and today and really make sure their bowlers are coming back for their second, third and fourth spells.
“They will try and really slow our scoring and put us under pressure and capitalise if we make a mistake and it’s been that kind of wicket.
“The challenge for us tomorrow is can we play the patience game better than they can.”