Ed Barnard produced his best bowling figures of the season before Callum Ferguson and Ben Cox led a superb fightback with the bat on day two of the Specsavers County Championship match with Derbyshire at Kidderminster.

All-rounder Barnard picked up two of the remaining four Derbyshire wickets to fall and ended with the splendid figures of 26.4-12-48-4.

Worcestershire were left a 373 target and, after being 48-5, Ferguson (71 not out) and Cox (44 not out) added an unbroken 108.

The County closed the day on 156-5 from 67 overs.

Barnard had Fynn Hudson-Prentice (4) caught by keeper Cox – the 300th dismissal of his first class career – and ended the Derbyshire second innings by sending back Ravi Rampaul (0).

That gave Barnard an overall match analysis of 35-15-70-6 and took his wicket tally for the campaign in first class cricket to 20.

Club captain Joe Leach produced similar figures over the two innings of 45-15-106-6.

But all the County bowlers put fatigue to one side and stuck to their guns in bowling a disciplined line and length throughout.

They constantly beat the bat during the opening three days without having the luck or reward that their efforts deserved.

Leach accounted for the other two wickets to fall today, trapping Anuj Dal lbw (0) while Tony Palladino (58) popped up a gentle catch to Ferguson at mid on.

Palladino and Tom Lace, who ended unbeaten on 132, added 99 for the ninth wicket as Derbyshire were bowled out for 377 – a lead of 372.

Worcestershire began batting immediately after lunch against the new ball attack of Palladino and Rampaul.

Daryl Mitchell (7) was caught behind off Paladino and Josh Dell (0) was leg before to Rampaul who then had Riki Wessels (4) pouched at second slip.

Fynn Hudson-Prentice struck twice in bowling Ross Whiteley (16) and Barnard (0) in the space of three balls and did not concede a run in his opening eight over spell.

But Ferguson and Cox led a fightback from 48-5 so far spanning 41 overs.

Cox clipped Rampaul through mid on for four and cover drove spinner Matt Critchley to the ropes.

Ferguson twice turned Wayne Madsen through mid wicket for boundaries and he cut the same player for his ninth four to reach a half century off 118 balls out of 123-5.

The pair played with great determination to get through to stumps without losing a wicket during the final session.

Ferguson’s knock spanned 181 balls with 11 fours while Cox struck eight boundaries in his 119 ball innings.