MIDDLESEX hit back with the ball after being dismissed for 221 by Worcestershire on day of this County Championship clash at New Road.

The visitors were bowled out in 66.2 overs after being put into bat with home heroes Charlie Morris and Josh Tongue continuing their impressive start to the season.

Morris, the leading wicket-taker in Division Two, picked up three more scalps to move on to 23 with Tongue adding a further trio to lift his total to 15.

Only Middlesex skipper Dawid Malan (45), who had recovered from a groin injury suffered on England duty earlier in the month, and keeper John Simpson (35) batted with much authority.

But Tom Helm bowled a fine new-ball spell for Middlesex, grabbing him two wickets before Callum Ferguson fell just before the close for an aggressive 37.

Worcestershire will start tomorrow on 64 for three from 27 overs.

Batting was a challenge for the bulk of the day with the ball nibbling around sufficiently to keep bowlers interested.

Morris broke through in his first over of the day as Max Holden (0) played half forward and nicked through to Ben Cox.

England opener Sam Robson (15) was trapped leg before wicket by a Tongue delivery which kept low and Nick Gubbins (27) was bowled by Ross Whiteley.

Malan, who suffered his injury blow in a one-day international against Ireland, and Steve Eskinazi then looked to be repairing the pre-lunch damage during a partnership of 62.

But Whiteley enjoyed a second success when Eskinazi (27) was leg before and then Malan departed in similar fashion to Morris after striking six fours in his 91-ball knock.

James Harris (12) became another leg before victim in the next over from the thrifty Ed Barnard, who mustered seven maidens from 10.2 overs.

Simpson and Toby Roland-Jones (12) added 31 before the latter went for a cut against Joe Leach and fell to a sharp first slip catch by Riki Wessels.

Tongue accounted for Helm (1) and Nathan Sowter (20) – the fifth player of the innings to fall lbw.

Simpson was largely responsible for taking Middlesex past the 200 mark until he ballooned a simple catch to Whiteley on the off side against Morris.

Worcestershire's response got off to a shaky start, though, with Daryl Mitchell (3) and George Rhodes (4) both caught behind off Helm during a fine opening spell.

Ferguson played himself but then reeled off a succession of boundaries, including three in an over from Harris.

He dominated a partnership of 53 with Tom Fell but after making 37 was trapped leg before to Roland-Jones to leave the game evenly poised.

Fell remained defiant and was unbeaten on 18 from 86 balls by the close.