Tom Fell gave Worcestershire something to smile about on a difficult day for the county, his fine innings of 133 helped his side battle back on the opening day of their County Championship clash with Glamorgan.
It was announced before play by Worcestershire that their academy director and former player Damian D’Oliveira had died at the age of 53 following a lengthy battle against cancer.
A pair of the Pears’ promising youngsters then helped dig their county out of early trouble once the action got under way, leading a recovery after they had slipped to 39-3, Moeen Ali and skipper Daryl Mitchell having fallen in the same over, and then 98-4.
However Fell – who made 124 against Leicestershire at Grace Road in Worcestershire's last championship outing – combined with Tom Kohler-Cadmore (60no) to lead a recovery, the pair sharing a 168-run stand.
By the close the hosts were on 266-5 after choosing to bat first, despite Michael Hogan taking 3-54 for Glamorgan. Fell was the final scalp for the impressive seamer, bowled after occupying the crease for 278 minutes.
Worcestershire had begun the latest round of Division Two fixtures a point behind table-topping Hampshire, who themselves are in action against in-form Surrey.
After a rain-hit opening day at the Oval, the hosts moved on from their overnight total of 68-1 to reach 382-5 by stumps. Jason Roy led the way, making an unbeaten 114 at faster than a run-a-ball rate.
Skipper Gary Wilson was 63 not out at the close having shared in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand worth 159 as not even five breaks for rain could slow down Surrey’s progress with the bat.
Vikram Solanki contributed 57 while debutant Tillakaratne Dilshan marked his first championship appearance with 69, the Sri Lankan right-hander hitting 11 boundaries before falling to the left-arm spin of Danny Briggs.
Roy, fresh from scoring 63 from 25 balls in Friday's corresponding NatWest T20 Blast encounter between the sides, produced an innings that Dilshan would have been proud of. By the close he had hit three sixes and 14 fours from the 113 deliveries he had faced.
In the other second tier fixture, new-ball pair David Masters and Reece Topley impressed for Essex before a late-order fightback helped Gloucestershire recover at Chelmsford.
Left-arm seamer Topley finished with 5-53 while veteran Masters claimed 4-67, though Essex rather let their opponents off the hook having at one stage reduced them to 123-8 on the opening day.
David Payne top-scored for Gloucestershire from no 10 in the order, with his unbeaten 48 including two sixes and four boundaries. Jack Taylor made 40 in a hurry while Matt Taylor contributed 26 to a last-wicket stand worth 66.
Despite the frustration of failing to finish off the innings as quickly as they might have hoped, Essex made an excellent start to their reply. Tom Westley led the way with 46 not out as he and opening partner Nick Browne (28 no) put on 75 in 19 overs.