Worcestershire were indebted to determined innings from skipper Daryl Mitchell and Tom Fell but are facing a battle during the final two days of the LV = County Championship clash with Derbyshire at Derbyshire.
Mitchell dug in and played in typically dogged fashion in making 67 while Fell reined in his more fluent style with an equally important 70.
But the Division Two leaders suffered a post tea collapse against Derbyshire paceman Mark Footitt on the second day after being 126-1 at one stage in reply to Derbyshire's 356.
They eventually closed on 221-6 from 86 overs – a deficit of 135.
Worcestershire had to contend with bowler-friendly conditions with there being cloud cover for the majority of the day and the floodlights on from lunch-time onwards.
But Mitchell and Fell showed what was capable if you were prepared to be patient against an accurate bowling unit who offered them few 'four' balls.
Derbyshire resumed on 323-8 and Charlie Morris followed up reaching 50 first class wickets for the season yesterday by completing the first five wicket haul of his career.
He trapped Alex Hughes lbw for 74 after he had played across the line to end his 133 ball innings which contained 12 fours.
Morris finished with 5-54 and also had a hand in wrapping up the innings when he deflected a drive from Tony Palladino (38 not out) off his bowling onto the stumps at the non-striker's end and ran out Footitt (11).
Worcestershire suffered an early setback when Richard Oliver, who had scored a career best 179 in his previous innings against Gloucestershire, was caught and bowled for a single by Footitt.
Mitchell and Fell were given a searching examination in the testing conditions particularly from Footitt and needed to show plenty of application and determination.
The 50 stand came up off 127 balls before Mitchell drove Footitt for two boundaries in the same over.
The 30-year-old had a let-off on 40 when he drove at Alex Hughes only for Billy Godleman to put down the chance at gulley.
Fell also had a slice of good fortune on 35 against the bowling of Hughes in his next over when Wayne Madsen failed to hang onto a more difficult chance at first slip.
Mitchell went to his half century off 134 balls with six fours via a single off spinner David Wainwright.
He then straight drove Wainwright to the boundary to bring up the 100 stand in 44.2 overs as Worcestershire went between lunch and tea without losing a wicket.
But it was a different story after the interval as wickets began to tumble.
Mitchell's determined knock ended in the first over after tea when he shouldered arms to Footitt and was bowled and two balls later Alexei Kervezee (0) nicked through to keeper Gareth Cross.
It was a rare failure against the Peakites for Kervezee who had scored a century in the three previous Championship matches between the two counties.
Fell reached his 50 with a four through mid wicket off Wayne White from 156 balls with four fours.
But Footitt struck for the third time in his spell when Tom Kohler-Cadmore (10) drove straight to Alex Hughes at backward point.
Ben Cox hit three fours in his quickfire 14 before he was bowled by White at 169-5.
Fell's defiance spanned four and three quarter hours but he was sixth out at 191 when he lobbed the first ball of spinner David Wainwright's spell straight to short mid wicket. He batted for 194 balls with five boundaries.
Joe Leach was unbeaten on 32 at the close and Worcestershire will be hoping to bat as long as possible tomorrow morning in the bid to secure extra batting points.