Worcestershire topped the 300 mark for the fourth time in their five first innings since returning to Division One of the LV = County Championship against Durham at New Road.

Tom Fell (78) and Ben Cox (67) were the leading contributors after Worcestershire had been put into bat and were confronted by a five man seam attack following a delayed start because of morning rain.

But there were useful and determined contributions virtually all the way down the order as Worcestershire recovered from 185-6 to reach 323 all out in 81.3 overs and claim three batting points.

Fell produced his best innings since his century in the opening match against Yorkshire and, as against the Tykes, he handled a probing attack with great skill and maturity.

Cox put together his fifth successive score of 40 plus in the Championship including a ton against Somerset and, in tandem with his keeping, he has made an excellent start to 2015.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell (0) departed to the second delivery of the morning when he was bowled by Chris Rushworth who claimed his 30th wicket of the season.

Richard Oliver and Fell took advantage of occasional lapses in length by Rushworth who conceded seven boundaries in his opening seven over spell.

Both batsmen claimed three fours before Oliver was fortunate with an edge which also found the shorter boundary on the pavilion side of the ground.

Four byes off Graham Onions brought up the Worcestershire 50 in the 15th over.

Oliver collected two boundaries at Onions expense but in the same over was bowled attempting to drive off his legs for 36 made off 47 balls with six fours.

His stand with Fell realised 64 in 16 overs.

Alex Gidman was trapped lbw for 12 by Rushworth early in the afternoon session but then Fell figured in another fine partnership with Alexei Kervezee.

They added 72 in 20 overs before both were dismissed in successive deliveries.

Kervezee (21) chased a ball from Paul Coughlin, edging to Michael Richardson, who replaced Phil Mustard behind the wicket, and Fell was caught at second slip to give Rushworth his 32nd championship wicket of the season.

He hit 12 fours and a six in his 157 ball knock.

Ross Whiteley made 15 on his return to the championship team and was then leg-before to Coughlin while Joe Leach reached 24 with a six to mid-wicket before he was taken at gully from the next ball from Onions.

Worse was to come for Durham when Sachithra Senanayake helped Cox put on 50 in eight overs.

The Sri Lankan spin bowler emulated Leach when caught behind off Collingwood for 16 after hitting a six which cleared the Ladies Pavilion.

Coughlin (4-70) wrapped up the innings as Jack Shantry was caught at mid-off after making 23 out of 45 with Cox, who was last out, well caught by Richardson.

Durham reached 14-0 off seven overs by the close