Worcestershire suffered more weather frustration as rain prevented any play during the afternoon session of the Specsavers County Championship clash with leaders Essex at New Road.

The County were delighted to see play start on time after the wash-out of the opening home Championship fixture with Kent three weeks ago.

But rain started to fall at 12.30am and did not relent before umpires Michael Burns and Neil Mallender decided to take an early tea at 3.10.

Conditions finally improved sufficiently for play to resume at 4.40.

Matt Henry took the new ball and claimed an early success after Essex had won the toss and elected to bat.

The New Zealand paceman marked his home debut by having Nick Browne (15) caught behind by keeper Ben Cox with 16 on the board.

Henry's success followed on from the six wickets he had taken on his first appearance for the County in the drawn clash with Gloucestershire at Bristol.

The Essex second wicket pair of England Test captain Alastair Cook and Tom Westley dominated the remainder of the morning session.

Cook was unbeaten on 36 and Westley 48 as Essex reached 105-1 from 24.1 overs before the elements intervened. Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell used five bowlers in an attempt to make further breakthroughs.