Worcestershire trail Somerset by 298 runs
It started badly with the surprise loss of New Road legend Graeme Hick.
It then immediately got a lot better when Somerset were reduced to 57 for five but, by the end of another typical day in this most frustrating of seasons, Worcestershire were once again left on the back foot.
With only five men left from the side beaten by Worcestershire's 12 men and two captains at Bath in June, Somerset scrapped their way back into the match. Having amassed an unlikely three points, it could be argued to have been their day.
It had already seemed likely that skipper Vikram Solanki's broken thumb would not be repaired for this fixture - particularly frustrating, given that the county's regular limited-over opener during the past four summers had only just been promoted up the order to open in four-day cricket for the first time in three years.
But his injury against Northamptonshire, coupled with the forthcoming arrival of Chris Gayle, means the postponement of that experiment. On top of confirmation of Solanki's loss, Hick's exit with back spasms after failing a morning fitness test merely added to the home fans' irritation.
He might have just returned his worst-ever run of form in 22 years of Championship cricket, after three successive ducks, including his first pair for the county - but this is still G A Hick we are talking about.
Somerset, having been his whipping boys on so many occasions, would have been more than happy to see his name missing from the teamsheet.
For the greater part of the morning session, Hick's absence from Worcestershire's Championship side for the first time in two years mattered not a jot. Matt Mason had John Francis lbw early. Kabir Ali then claimed the in-form Matthew Wood, fresh from last week's double century and a century in the totesport League against Yorkshire, caught at second slip.
Having chosen to bat, Somerset's dodgy start became a decidedly bad one when Jimmy Hildreth tamely spooned Kabir to the recalled Daryl Mitchell in the covers - 37 for three. That became 48 for four when Wesley Durston, who completed his education down the road at University College, Worcester, also holed out to Mitchell off Nadeem Malik.
The ball had been swinging on a pitch that was also helping the bowlers with extra bounce, Kabir using the conditions to good effect in the morning session by taking two for 13 in ten overs.
The pitch was showing signs of turn when Ian Blackwell advanced to his good mate, acting home captain Gareth Batty, and was stumped. But, as so often this season, having manoeuvred themselves into such an encouraging position, Worcetsershire's day was about to go belly-up again. Keith Parsons and Arul Suppiah began to sow the seeds of Somerset recovery. The visitors' tail continued to wag after lunch.
Parsons helped put on 64 for the sixth wicket before being caught at slip off Malik for 34, and Suppiah went the same way off Ray Price for 72 after adding 77 with Carl Gazzard.
Then came the most annoying stand of all as Gazzard put on 89 with debutant Robert Woodman before falling lbw to Price for a careerbest 74. Nadeem took three for 63.
Worcestershire's openers survived four overs, Stephen Moore being put down by Suppiah at backward point, on another day of lost advantage.