IT WAS a challenging return to Visit Worcestershire New Road against Nottinghamshire when play got underway on day two of the Vitality County Championship fixture.

Nathan Smith collected two wickets and was the pick of the Worcestershire bowlers.

Smith struck in successive overs as Worcestershire looked to strike back after being dismissed for 80 and was a constant threat to the visitors batters.

He also had Joe Clarke dropped before he had scored and Nottinghamshire skipper Haseeb Hameed also survived a chance on 36 off Adam Finch.

But from 85-2 century-maker Hameed and Clarke flourished during a stand of 147.

Matthew Waite accounted for century-maker Hameed lbw just before the close with Clarke unbeaten on 73 out of 234-3.

Ground-staff worked through the night to ensure play could get underway on time after yesterday’s first day wash-out.

Both teams and staff lined up for a minute’s applause before the start of play in honour of Worcestershire spinner, Josh Baker, who passed away aged 20 three weeks ago.

Worcestershire opener, Ed Pollock, came in for his first appearance of the season in place of Kashif Ali who is taking a break from the game.

Hameed won the toss and chose to bat on a green pitch.

His former Trent Bridge colleague Jake Libby fell to a stunning low catch at second slip by Calvin Harrison away to his left off Luke Fletcher.

Dillon Pennington, on his first return to New Road since leaving Worcestershire last summer, knocked out Pollock’s middle stump after he pushed forward.

Harrison held onto another smart catch at slip to account for Gareth Roderick off Fletcher.

Rob Jones (19) cover drove and cut Fletcher for boundaries before he went for a drive and was caught by Tom Moores off the same bowler.

Lyndon James’ angled in delivery trapped Worcestershire Club captain Brett D’Oliveira lbw.

Matthew Waite was unfortunate when he flicked at James and was taken by Moores diving to his left at full stretch and Adam Hose went to pull Pennington and top edged a skied return catch held at the third attempt.

Smith, showing aggressive intent, came down the wicket to Paterson and was lbw and the same bowler had Joe Leach pouched at backward point.

Adam Finch struck Pennington for six over mid wicket before caught behind off his ex-team-mate.

When Nottinghamshire batted, openers Hameed and Ben Slater brought up the 50 in the 17th over.

Hameed on 26 edged left armer Ben Gibbon just short of second slip before a breakthrough came with Nottinghamshire just three runs in arrears.

Slater on 41 went for a pull shot against Smith but only found the safe hands of Gibbon at fine leg.

There was more joy for Smith when Will Young (2) tried to get his bat out of a way of a delivery but only deflected the ball onto his stumps.

Smith could have had a third wicket in three overs but Roderick was unable to hold onto a nick from Joe Clarke before he had scored.

Hameed also had a let off on 36 low down at first slip off Finch immediately after tea.

But after that Hameed and Clarke seized the initiative for Nottinghamshire. Hameed reached his hundred off 214 balls with nine fours before Waite struck.