Worcestershire were set a 324 target on a truncated third day of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Hampshire resumed the third day on 163-8 and Ed Barnard claimed the final two wickets as they were eventually dismissed for 244 35 minutes before lunch.

Worcestershire then reached 59-3 off 23 overs by the close with opener Daryl Mitchell unbeaten on 34 with five fours.

The Hampshire ninth wicket pair of Kyle Abbott and Brad Wheal frustrated the visitors attack during a stand of 72 in 20 overs.

It was Barnard who broke the stand at 229 when Wheal (19) was caught at second slip at the second attempt by Joe Clarke.

Abbott, who had a brief spell with Worcestershire during the 2016 season, brought up his half century off 69 balls with eight boundaries.

He was eventually dismissed for 51, edging Barnard through to George Rhodes at first slip.

Joe Leach finished with 3-55, Steve Magoffin 2-60, Josh Tongue 2-40 and Barnard 2-57 with the other wicket of Hashim Amla falling to a run out via Barnard’s direct hit from point.

Worcestershire were left a mini session to negotiate before lunch and Gareth Berg, rather than Fidel Edwards, took the new ball alongside Abbott.

Abbott trapped Brett D’Oliveira lbw for one in the fourth over of the innings with four runs on the board.

Tom Fell leg glanced Berg for the first boundary of the innings and pulled the same bowler for another four.

Mitchell nudged Abbott through the vacant third man area for his first boundary and both batsman went into the interval on eight with the score 17-1 from seven overs.

The rain then set in and there was a lengthy delay of four and three quarter hours before play resumed at 5.45pm with 16 overs remaining in the day.

Abbott dismissed Fell in the first over after the resumption as he hit the top of the off stump at 18-2.

New batsman Clarke needed treatment after being rapped on the fingers but then produced splendid front foot and back foot cover drives for four at Abbott’s expense.

Mitchell got in on the act by cutting Abbott to the ropes but then edged the same bowler in between first and second slip to the boundary.

Abbott struck for the third time as Clarke (15) fell lbw to a delivery which jagged back in at 50-3.

Mitchell moved into the 30s with two fours in an over from Edwards.