“A really good day for us” was how Worcestershire Bowling Coach Alan Richardson summed up the County’s performance on day one of the Specsavers County Championship match with Sussex at Hove.
Ed Barnard and Charlie Morris both enjoyed a double success with the ball for Worcestershire before Adam Finch claimed a vital late wicket on a bad light and rain-shortened day one.
The home side were reduced to 32-3 at the 1st Central County Ground before half centuries from Stiaan van Zyl and Delray Rawlings led a partial recovery to 150-5 before the elements had the final say.
Barnard, enjoying a rare chance to take the new ball, struck with the third ball after an uncontested toss when Luke Wells, playing well away from his body, was caught behind by Ben Cox for a duck.
After a short stoppage for a shower, the other opener Tom Haines also failed to trouble the scorers as a leading edge off Morris ended up in the hands of skipper Hamish Rutherford at mid -off.
Cox then took a superb catch diving in front of slip to remove Will Beer for seven and further reward Barnard for a lively new-ball spell.
Van Zyl and Rawlins brought about a rebuilding job and added 94 for the fourth wicket before both departed in an afternoon session cut short by bad light.
Van Zyl (56) was superbly caught diving forward at mid-on by Rutherford to Charlie Morris his second wicket
Rawlins was struck on the shoulder by Morris and needed more treatment a few minutes later when he pulled a ball from Brett D’Oliveira into his midriff.
He drove the next ball he faced from Finch for his eighth boundary but then on 58 slashed outside off stump and Daryl Mitchell clung onto a sharp chance at second slip.
Rain arrived shortly afterwards and umpires Jerry Lloyds and Paul Baldwin abandoned play at 4pm with only 50.4 overs possible.
Richardson said: “We made some inroads which was good. Ed Barnard utilised the new ball really well but they had a really good partnership before we got a couple of wickets at the end.
“I couldn’t be happier for Charlie Morris. He has forced his way back into the red-ball side and today he bowled in really good areas and got his rewards.
“Adam Finch is a big lad who bowled well to his strengths in his second spell and managed to get Delray Rawlins out which he deserved. It’s been a really good day for us.”