Eighteen wickets fell on the opening day of Worcestershire's Second Eleven Championship clash with MCC Universities at Kidderminster.

Worcestershire were indebted to a a rare half century from paceman Chris Russell as they were bowled out for 177.

Then Josh Tongue impressed with a three wicket blast with the new ball as MCCU closed on 225-8.

Worcestershire elected to bat after skipper Alexei Kervezee won the toss and only keeper Alex Milton (35) of the top six made a sizeable contribution.

The home side were 105-8 at one stage with Andrew Westphal (3-38) doing the early damage and Kamau Leverock (3-31) making inroads into the middle-late order.

But Russell struck 55 off 54 balls with a six and nine fours and share in a ninth wicket stand of 48 with Charlie Morris (14).

Tongue then showed why he had been included in the Worcestershire squad for the current Specsavers County Championship clash with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

He reduced Northants to 18-3 before Charles Lowen (90 off 103 balls with 18 fours) and Matthew Norris (31) added 123 in 30 overs for the fourth wicket.

Spinner Ben Twohig dismissed both of them and four wickets fell for 22 runs but Calvin Dickinson, who played for Worcestershire Seconds last summer, hit an unbeaten 50 from 55 balls with one six and nine fours.

Dickinson, who also played against Worcestershire for Oxford MCCU at The Parks in April, earned his side a 48 run lead by the close.

WORCESTERSHIRE SECONDS – FIRST INNINGS

Kervezee c Azad b Westphal 4

Westbury lbw Westphal 11

Dell c Azad b Lilley 6

Hepburn b Westphal 0

Milton b Leverock 35

Malik c Bullen b Leverock 21

Twohig c Cullen b Lilley 11

Tongue lbw Leverock 0

Russell b McIver 55

Morris c Bullen b Lilley 14

Scrimshaw not out 1

Extras 19

Total (all out) 177 in 48.5 overs

FOW: 6, 27, 27, 36, 76, 91, 95, 105, 153, 177

BOWLING

Westphal 11-4-38-3

Lilley 19-7-58-3

Grundy 5-2-25-0

Leverock 11-2-31-3

McIver 2.5-0-15-1

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MCC UNIVERSITIES – FIRST INNINGS

Bullen b Tongue 16

Azad lbw Tongue 0

Cullen lbw Tongue 0

Lowen b Twohig 90

Norris b Twohig 31

Dickinson not out 50

McIver run out 2

Leverock c Kervezee b Morris 4

Lilley c Malik b Russell 13

Grundy not out 5

Extras 14

Total (for 8 wckets) 225 in 53 overs

FOW: 7, 7, 18, 141, 152, 159, 163, 215

BOWLING

Tongue 11-4-39-3

Morris 14-1-58-1

Scrimshaw 3-0-20-0

Russell 8-1-36-3

Hepburn 6-1-13-0

Twohig 11-0-49-2