Derbyshire took five wickets, but Worcestershire made a strong start to the LV= County Championship fixture at The Incora County Ground.
Jack Haynes scored his second consecutive first-class century as the 21-year-old backed-up his maiden hundred against Durham on Sunday with 133 from 207 balls out of Worcestershire’s 326-5.
Azhar Ali made 88 from 192 balls, adding 187 in 56overs with Haynes to follow the 195 stand they shared to save the Durham match before Derbyshire hit back with the second new ball.
Sam Conners removed Haynes before a brilliant catch by Anuj Dal sent back Brett D’Oliveira five overs before the close.
Derbyshire’s decision to bowl first on a pitch tinged with green was possibly based on the amount of rain in Derby the previous day but apart from Suranga Lakmal, the bowlers struggled.
Lakmal’s opening spell tested the technique and judgement of the batsmen and deserved more than the one wicket of Ed Pollock in the sixth over.
Pollock was drawn into pushing forward at a good length ball that moved away enough to take the outside edge which was taken low down by Brooke Guest.
Azhar could easily have followed but survived a rigorous examination by Lakmal to bat through the first session and establish a foundation that he and Haynes built on in the afternoon.
Haynes joined him in the 13th over after Jake Libby was lbw to one that cut back from Ryan Sidebottom and continued from where he left off at Worcester on Sunday.
His driving off the back foot through the covers was a feature of another impressive display of application and selectivity although the top-edged pull that took him to 50 could have easily gone to hand.
There were few other mistakes as he and Azhar batted through the afternoon session, adding 120 in 34 overs.
Azhar became increasingly fluent after completing his second 50 for Worcestershire and was clearly annoyed when he failed to convert it into a century.
His attempt to cut Alex Thomson’s off-spin only gave Wayne Madsen a sharp catch at slip five overs after tea but Haynes did not miss out.
Last year at Worcester Haynes fell for 97 against Derbyshire but this time he pulled a short ball from Sidebottom for his 12th four to go to his second hundred in four days.
Derbyshire took the second new ball as soon as it became available and struck immediately when Conners nibbled one away to have Haynes caught low down at first slip.
D’Oliveira and Ed Barnard took Worcestershire to a third batting point which was the first time in Derbyshire’s history that scores of 300 or more have been posted in five consecutive innings before the home side broke through again.
D’Oliveira cut Sidebottom firmly to point but Dal underlined his reputation as an outstanding fielder by leaping high at point to take a superb catch.
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With a formidable top-order, backed up by an exciting crop of bowlers, the Falcons are ready to go again in 2022.