Worcestershire picked up two wickets during the afternoon session but their Specsavers County Championship clash with Sussex at New Road appeared to be heading for a draw at tea.
Joe Leach and skipper Daryl Mitchell were the successful Worcestershire bowlers after Sussex resumed after lunch on 235-5.
The County attack pulled out all the stops in an attempt to make a significant breakthrough with Mitchell ringing the changes.
But by tea Sussex had moved onto 358-7 – a lead of 145 with 33 overs remaining.
Although there had been heavy early morning rain, sterling work by the groundstaff helped ensure play got underway on time.
Ed Barnard and Matt Henry were first into the attack and the latter twice saw Ross Taylor pick up boundaries to third man.
There was a minor interruption for rain which resulted in the loss of three overs before the second new ball was taken at 179-3 off 81 overs.
Lewis Hatchett helped Taylor to add 52 in 20 overs for the fourth wicket.
But Leach ended Hatchett's resistance by bowling him for 17 with the total 183-4 in the 85th over.
Taylor leg glanced Leach for four to move onto 49 and then a single off Henry took him to his half century from 98 balls with seven boundaries.
A cover-drive by the same player at Henry's expense raised the Sussex 200.
But he had an escape on 56 after edging Henry to Mitchell at second slip with the total on 217-4.
Henry bowled with plenty of pace and finally got his reward for an excellent spell when bowling Taylor for 62.
Machan opted for an attacking approach and raced to a 40 ball half century.
Leach ended his knock on 66 – from 70 balls with one six and seven fours – when keeper Ben Cox held onto a superb one-handed catch after moving sharply to his left.
He had added 55 with Harry Finch who completed a maiden Championship half century.
Worcestershire kept plugging away and Finch, after adding 60 with Ben Brown, became a victim of Mitchell.
He brought himself into the attack and held onto a return catch by Finch (57) from his fifth delivery.