Worcestershire all-rounder Ed Barnard impressed with the ball on the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

The former England Under-19 player picked up four wickets to take his Championship tally for the campaign past the 20 mark.

But a century from Jack Taylor – his second in a row against Worcestershire in the Championship – rescued Gloucestershire after he came to the wcket at 129-5.

He survived a chance on 16 off Josh Tongue and went onto reach three figures from 122 balls with 14 fours and a six as the home side recovered to 343-8 by the close of play

Barnard ended with 4-67 from 25 overs – his second four wicket haul in Championship cricket.

Skipper Joe Leach picked up two wickets and there were one apiece for Tongue and George Rhodes as Worcestershire stuck to their task on another hot day.

Leach opted to bowl first via an uncontested toss and struck with the first delivery of the day as Cameron Bancroft (0) was trapped lbw.

For a while runs flowed at a steady pace and Will Tavare on 16 survived a difficult chance to Daryl Mitchell at second slip diving away to his left off Josh Tongue.

Tavare added only five more runs before Leach struck for a second time after switching from the Chapel End to the College Lawn End.

He pushed forward and keeper Ben Cox pulled off a superb low catch away to his right with 53 on the board.

Denly escaped a run out chance to Barnard at mid off on 32 after a firm push off Tongue.

Gareth Roderick (11) then attempted to pull Ed Barnard and top edged a catch to John Hastings at point.

It became 85-4 when Graeme van Buuren (1) attempted to cut spinner George Rhodes' third ball and was caught behind.

Dent was unbeaten on 44 out of 87-4 at lunch and reached his half century off 103 balls with six boundaries.

Gloucestershire skipper Phil Mustard was fortunate when he tried hook Leach and the ball flew over the slips for four.

Barnard bowled an excellent post lunch spell and was rewarded when Dent (65) went back and was lbw to the former England Under-19 player.

Jack Taylor rode his luck in the early stages of his innings as he got off the mark with a nick for four off Barnard and then survived a chance to Clarke at third slip off Tongue.

He was full of aggressive intent and went to a 51-ball fifty with seven fours and a six.

Taylor and Phil Mustard steered Gloucestershire through to 221-5 off 64 overs at tea but then two wickets fell shortly after the restart.

Mustard completed his half century off 125 balls with five fours but in the next over was comprehensively bowled by Barnard after attempting an expansive drive to end a stand of 96 in 23 overs with Taylor.

Then Cox produced his second excellent catch of the day, this time at full stretch above his head as Kieran Noema-Barnett (0) nicked a delivery from Tongue.

But Taylor found a staunch partner in Craig Miles and their half century stand came up in 12 overs.

Worcestershire claimed the second new ball at 275-7 off 80 overs and Taylor went to his hundred with a straight drive for four off Leach.

He had also scored a century in the Championship match between the sides at New Road last summer.

Barnard returned to claim a fourth success as Miles (39) pushed forward and edged through to Cox – his fourth catch of the innings.

The Taylor-Miles stand was worth 89 in 20.3 overs.

Taylor ended the day on 118 not out from 149 balls with one six and 16 fours