PROMOTION-chasing Worcestershire met strong resistance from bottom-placed Leicestershire on the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two match at New Road.

Skipper Mark Cosgrove and centurion Neil Dexter shepherded the visitors to three batting points as the visitors reached 325-7 after 93 overs when bad light intervened.

The hosts, brimming with confidence after an eight-wicket win at leaders Nottinghamshire, initially continued in the same vein after Leicestershire opted to bat and were reduced to 25-3.

But it was an uphill struggle for the second-placed County after that against a side without a Championship win this summer.

Cosgrove completed 1,000 Championship runs for his third successive season and was well supported by Aadil Ali in a century partnership.

Then Dexter and Lewis Hill put together another hundred stand for the resolute Foxes.

Joe Leach picked up three wickets and there were two apiece for Josh Tongue and Ed Barnard but it was a challenging day for Indian star Ravichandran Ashwin.

He had a couple of early lbw shouts rejected but only the occasional ball turned and he finished the day with 0-99 from 29 overs.

Tongue made the first breakthrough as on-loan opener Michael Carberry (5) nicked through to keeper Ben Cox.

Ned Eckersley, playing his 100th first-class match, was promoted to open but made only 12 before edging Leach to Daryl Mitchell at second slip.

Barnard broke through in his first over as Colin Ackerman (4) had his stumps spread-eagled to secure a bowling bonus point for the County inside 14 overs.

But from that high point the home side experienced a frustrating time as Leicestershire fought back in impressive fashion.

Cosgrove was given excellent support by Ali in a stand of 104 in 30 overs for the fourth wicket.

The pair counter-attacked to good effect before Ali (40) was trapped lbw on the back foot by Leach for the 60th Championship wicket of another productive summer.

It became 172-5 when Cosgrove, on 74 from 123 balls with eight fours, skied a Barnard delivery to Joe Clarke at square leg.

But further spirited resistance came from Dexter and Hill in a partnership of 100 in 28 overs.

Dexter was full of aggressive intent and posted a run-a-ball half-century with nine fours and a six over mid-wicket off paceman Pat Brown.

The second new ball accounted for Hill (33) lbw to Tongue and Ben Raine (3) bowled by Leach.

Dexter had time to reach three figures off 120 balls with 18 fours and a six and was unbeaten on 102 before bad light intervened.