A career-best 73 from nightwatchman Ed Barnard helped Worcestershire save the Division Two match against Derbyshire at the 3aaa County Ground, Derby.
Barnard and fellow former England Under-19 team mate Joe Clarke, who made 63, shared a third wicket stand of 146 to rescue the visitors after Brett D’Oliveira had gone in the first over of the day.
Will Davis removed them both but Alexei Kervezee made 41, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore 48 in 40 overs as Worcestershire closed on 294 for 6 , denying Derbyshire a first home Championship win since the end of the 2014 season.
The day had started so well for Derbyshire with Tony Palladino striking with the sixth ball of the morning when D’Oliveira played across the line and was lbw without a run added.
But that was the last success until 13 overs into the afternoon session as Barnard and Clarke played with impressive judgement and maturity to raise Worcestershire’s hopes of saving the game.
Derbyshire used seven bowlers but could not break the concentration of the two 20-year-old’s whose approach and application was an example to some of the senior batsmen.
Barnard completed the second first-class 50 of his career before lunch and the pair had been together for nearly 44 overs when Derbyshire finally broke the stand.
Will Davis was rewarded for an aggressive spell from the Racecourse End when he tempted Clarke into a mistimed pull which ended in the hands of midwicket and Barnard’s admirable innings ended when he was succoured into taking on another short ball.
If Alexei Kervezee had been taken down the legside off Davis on 13, Worcestershire would have been 188 for 5 but it was another 25 overs before Derbyshire broke the fifth wicket stand.
The second new ball was always likely to be Derbyshire’s last chance and Ben Cotton broke through when Kervezee tried to play the ball off his hip and this time Tom Poynton made no mistake.
The light was murky enough for the floodlights to be switched on but Kohler-Cadmore dug in and although he edged a big drive at Chesney Hughes with seven overs left, Ross Whiteley faced 59 balls to finally close the door on his former team.