Worcestershire picked up the five last wickets for 66 runs today to earn a first innings lead of 61 in the three-day encounter with Cambridge MCCU at Fenners.

Daryl Mitchell then struck a rapid 74 as Worcestershire reached 198-4 in their second innings before bad light halted played at 5.20pm – an overall advantage of 259 heading into the final day.

Worcestershire’s new signing Wayne Parnell was responsible for the key wicket of Jack Keeping who scored 86 of the students all out total of 154.

Keeping could only nick a fine delivery and keeper and acting captain Ben Cox pulled off a good diving catch away to his right.

He struck 16 fours in his 155 ball knock.

Cambridge resumed on 88-5 and added only three more runs before Charlie Morris claimed his third scalp of the innings with Rishi Patel (11) falling to Riki Wessels at first slip.

Keeping and Josh Cantrell put on 58 for the seventh wicket but then the last four wickets went down for five runs in the space of 5.1 overs.

After Parnell had removed Keeping, Cantrell (22) followed him back to the pavilion after being caught at cover by Josh Dell off Brett D’Oliveira.

Ed Barnard trapped Ashane Wiljesuriya (4) leg before and D’Oliveira polished off the innings by having Karthik Suresh lbw for nought.

Morris finished with figures of 14-4-50-3, fellow new ball bowler Josh Tongue (17-5-50-2), Barnard (8-4-14-2), Parnell (13-4-37-1) and D’Oliveira (3-2-1-2).

Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell and Tom Fell then scored an unbroken 39 off seven overs before lunch.

They added only three more before Fell was dismissed for 25 but Mitchell raced to a 59 ball half century with nine boundaries.

He was joined by D’Oliveira and the pair brought up a half century stand in 10 overs.

D’Oliveira (43) was bowled after striking eight fours off 86 deliveries and Mitchell’s 81 ball knock containing 13 boundaries ended when he was caught at cover.

Riki Wessels (3) fell to a catch at backward point but Josh Dell made an unbeaten 35 before the premature end to the day’s proceedings.