Worcestershire centurion Daryl Mitchell was full of praise for 19-year-old Joe Clarke as the pair of them led a first day recovery against Hampshire in the LV = County Championship clash at New Road.

Skipper Mitchell continued his liking for the Hants attack with his third ton in the last four games and he averages over 100 in his last 10 innings against them in four-day cricket.

But Clarke played an equally important role in scoring a career best 70 and adding 142 for the fourth wicket with Mitchell as Worcestershire closed on 228-5 after being 25-3.

Mitchell said: "He's a confident lad and was talking me through it really more than the other way around! He played a fantastic innings.

"He's full of confidence and a real pleasure to bat with actually. Despite his youthfulness, he is quite a smart cookie when it comes to cricket.

"He had his plans, executed them pretty well and played a really important role for us.

"Joe earnt his chance. He got a lot of runs in league cricket and in the second team, a big double hundred against Gloucestershire which catapulted him in.

"He showed his class today. He is obviously a really bright prospect for the future but he is good enough to play now and showed that with his second 50 in his third or fourth game.

"He'll be disappointed not to have gone on and got a hundred but I'm sure that is not too far away."

Mitchell added: "Hundreds are always pleasing but because we were 30-3 it almost makes it doubly pleasing to get us out of a bit of trouble and hopefully into a reasonable position.

"Hopefully that is an important innings but we will see how important it is come the end of the game.

"It is doing a bit early on. It is a good wicket, it's pretty dry with not a lot of grass on the pitch so I thought batting first was important with two spinners in the team as well.

"With the cloud cover and overhead conditions, it did nibble around with the new ball but I thought we did pretty well to overcome that in the end particularly myself and Clarkey who I thought played a fantastic innings at a really important stage and it got easier to bat as we went along."

As for his excellent record against Hants, Mitchell said: " I've got a few runs against them, particularly in recent years. It's funny how it goes like that.

"Glamorgan and Gloucestershire are two other sides I've got plenty of hundreds against as well.

"It's one of those things that goes for you against certain opposition.

"We got off to a bit of a flier. It normally takes me 75 overs to get 50, not 75 balls but after the first break I thought they bowled pretty well, held the length well and made it very difficult to score with the fields they set.

"But getting ourselves up near to 230-5 after the start, we'd have taken that.

"What's a good score? We've got to get as many as we can. The new ball is due after one over tomorrow so that will be a difficult period.

"The ball always does a bit here first so, try and get over the new ball and build partnership and try and go for as long as we can.

"Am I hoping it is going to spin? Absolutely. That's why we're playing two spinners. Brett (D'Oliveira) is probably valuable for his place as a batter alone anyway.

"He's in the side and Saeed Ajmal is our star performer with the ball."