Worcestershire Seconds skipper Alex Hepburn fell just two short of his century on the second day of the Championship match with Leicestershire Seconds at RGS Worcester.
The all-rounder continued his recent good form and struck 98 off just 100 balls to lead a strong Seconds reply to Leicestershire's all-out total of 318 on the opening day.
Hepburn hit 19 boundaries before attempting a drive and being bowled by Ben Mike and was fourth out at 155.
He shared in a third wicket stand of 121 in 24 overs with Tom Fell after Ollie Westbury and Adam Wiffen had been dismissed in successive overs with eight on the board.
Fell made 42 from 70 balls with seven boundaries before he lofted Matt McKiernan into the hands of mid on.
Worcestershire were in a spot of bother at 179-7 but then Ben Twohig and Chartlie Morris joined forces for the second substantial stand of the innings.
They added 87 in 19 overs before Twohig was caught at long on for an excellent 52 off 64 deliveries with one six and seven fours.
Morris went onto make his highest Championship score for the Seconds of 37 not out from 72 balls with three fours.
Hepburn declared at tea with Worcestershire on 295-8 – 23 runs in arrears and with still 32 overs remaining in the day.
When Leicestershire batted again, Adam Finch trapped Sam Evans lbw for a duck with just three runs on the board.
Harry Dearden and Aadil Ali added 99 for the second wicket before the former fell victim to George Scrimshaw when one short of his half century.
By the close Ali, who was dismissed for 99 in the first innings, had moved onto 62 not out from 89 balls with one six and seven fours out of 133-2 from 32 overs – a lead of 156.
Worcestershire Seconds – first innings
OE Westbury lbw b BWM Mike 6
TC Fell c MA Jones b MH McKiernan 42
AO Wiffen c MA Jones b D Manthorpe 1
A Hepburn* b BWM Mike 98
AG Milton+ b D Manthorpe 10
JA Haynes lbw b MH McKiernan 4
Z Ul-Hassan c HJ Swindells b D Manthorpe 16
BJ Twohig c MH McKiernan b AM Ali 52
CAJ Morris not out 37
GLS Scrimshaw not out 10
Total (for 8 wickets declared) 295
FOW: 7, 8, 129, 155, 160, 174, 189, 276
D Manthorpe 11-3-36-3
BWM Mike 11-3-38-2
J Graham 5-0-33-0
M Rafique 6-1-25-0
MH McKiernan 26-7-88-2
AM Ali 13-0-67-1
Leicestershire Seconds – second innings
HE Dearden c BJ Twohig b GLS Scrimshaw 49
ST Evans lbw b AW Finch 0
AM Ali* not out 62
MA Jones not out 15
Total (for 2 wickets) 133 in 32 overs
FOW: 3, 102
AW Finch 6-1-20-1
CAJ Morris 4-0-23-0
A Hepburn 3-0-24-0
GLS Scrimshaw 4-0-24-1
BJ Twohig 8-1-31-0
Z Ul-Hassan 6-1-8-0
OE Westbury 1-0-1-0