Worcestershire were beaten by seven wickets by Somerset in their opening pre-season match of the year at Taunton Vale after their top order failed in seamer-friendly conditions.
They limped to 10 for 5 at one stage in their second innings of the two-day match with Somerset’s former South Africa left-armer Charl Willoughby claiming three of the wickets.
Worcestershire eventually rallied to 84 for eight thanks to 32 from Alexei Kervezee, back on county duty less than a week after returning to England having played for Holland in the World Cup.
Daryl Mitchell’s declaration challenged Somerset to make just 85 for victory but in conditions that were still weighted in favour of the bowlers.
The loss of Arul Suppiah in the first over and former England batsman Marcus Trescothick in the third offered Worcestershire early encouragement but Jos Buttler and Nick Compton settled things down.
Compton and Peter Trego then steered Somerset home but the main aim of the match for both sides was to get players used to playing outdoors again after a long and cold winter ahead of the earliest ever start to a county season.
Worcestershire now host Somerset at New Road in a one-day match on March 27.