Ben Cox, Ed Barnard and Brett D’Oliveira provided stiff middle-lower order resistance before Worcestershire went down by 109 runs to Durham on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship match at the Emirates Riverside.

The sixth wicket pair of Barnard and Cox mixed flair with determination in adding 96 for the sixth wicket in 25 overs after coming together at 56-5.

Cox had also been involved in a major sixth wicket stand with Callum Ferguson in similar circumstances against Derbyshire at Kidderminster last week.

Today the wicket-keeper batsman top-scored with 62 and Barnard, who also picked up eight wickets in the game, made 43.

There was also strong defiance from D’Oliveira (45 not out) before Worcestershire were bowled out for 242 in 84.4 overs shortly before a delayed tea.

But as against Derbyshire, the loss of so many early wickets meant the remaining batsmen were left with a mountain to climb.

Durham placeman Chris Rushworth inflicted the major damage by claiming the first five wickets to fall, three of them yesterday evening. He finished with 6-39 from 24.4 overs and 10 wickets in the game.

Ferguson began the final day in a positive mood after Worcestershire had resumed on 31-3 from 17 overs.

He drove the second ball of the day from Ben Raine to the boundary and clipped the same bowler off his legs for four in his next over.

But Rushworth struck when Ross Whiteley (18) pushed forward and lost his off stump at 43-4 in the 21st over.

Ferguson went back and stroked Rushworth through the covers for four in impressive fashion.

The Australian reached 30 but then became the fifth victim of the innings for Rushworth after pushing forward and nicking to Graham Clark at first slip.

Ferguson faced 73 balls in total and hit five fours.

Cox collected his first boundary when he helped a legside delivery from Brydon Carse around the corner. Barnard handed out similar treatment to a delivery from Nathan Rimmington for his first four.

The pair showed aggressive intent in the face of the demanding task confronting them.

Cox twice drove Rimmington for four and Barnard flicked Carse off his legs down to the ropes to bring up the County’s 100 in the 37th over.

The 50 partnership came up in just 65 balls between Barnard and Cox.

They continued to score freely and by lunch the pair had taken the total to 139-5 from 47 overs with Barnard unbeaten on 42 and Cox 40.

Barnard added one run after the resumption before he was lbw to Rimmington. His 85 ball innings contained eight fours and the stand with Cox was worth 96 in 25 overs.

Cox went onto complete an excellent half century with a single off Rushworth. It included seven boundaries and spanned 87 deliveries.

On 62 Cox’s fine knock ended when he was caught off a leading edge at cover by Ryan Pringle off Carse with the total 172-7.

D’Oliveira also provided spirited resistance after coming to the wicket at number eight.

He flicked Raine off his legs, pulled a Rimmington delivery and crashed Rushworth – with the first delivery of the second new ball – through the covers – all for boundaries.

Club captain Joe Leach (3) was caught behind off a Carse delivery and Dillon Pennington (7) edged Rimmington into the hands of first slip.

Charlie Morris (14) helped D’Oliveira add 43 for the last wicket before he was bowled by Rushworth.