Dillon Pennington and Ed Barnard picked up two wickets apiece as the Worcestershire attack produced a highly disciplined performance on day two of the Specsavers County Championship clash with Derbyshire.

Tom Lace hit an unbeaten 101 and Derbyshire closed on 272-6 from 103 overs – an overall lead of 267.

But they were made to work extremely hard for their runs, scoring at 2.6 runs per over, on a pitch which had flattened out considerably.

The initial moisture had disappeared from the surface after 20 wickets had tumbled on a first day in conditions helpful for seam and swing bowling.

Today was about putting the ball in the right areas and waiting for a mistake even though the ball went soft and Derbyshire were never able to take liberties.

Derbyshire resumed on 19-0 and yesterday’s trend continued initially with Luis Reece and Billy Godleman falling in successive overs.

Club captain Joe Leach was the first to strike as Reece (20) was trapped lbw and then Godleman (26) nicked Pennington to Riki Wessels at first slip at 46-2.

Wayne Madsen and Lace extended their third wicket partnership to 103 in 40 overs during the afternoon session before Madsen, having made 60 off 125 balls with nine fours, miscued Pennington to Brett D’Oliveira at point.

Lace went onto complete his half century from 141 balls with seven fours out of 167-3.

But only one more run was added before the home side made another breakthrough.

Leus Du Plooy (8) fell victim to a fine catch by Callum Ferguson at mid off diving forward off D’Oliveira.

Harvey Hosein had a let off when he inside-edged Ross Whiteley to the boundary to bring up the 200.

He and Lace negotiated the second new ball and added 82 in 31 overs but Barnard broke the partnership when Hosein (33) holed out to Josh Dell at backward point.

The Worcestershire attack induced several edges and false strokes in the final hour.

They were rewarded when Matt Critchley (13) nicked Barnard to Daryl Mitchell low down at second slip before Lace completed his hundred in the final over.