ACTING skipper Ben Cox became the third Worcestershire player to score a century in the first innings as his side amassed 553-6 declared on day two of the Specsavers County Championship encounter at Leicestershire.

Then the impressive Josh Tongue picked up two wickets as the Fischer County Ground hosts were reduced to 180-4 from 51 overs by the close.

Cox, the County’s new red-ball vice-captain, completed the fourth first-class hundred of his career from 133 deliveries with one six and 13 fours and then declared one ball later midway through the afternoon session.

His fine innings followed three-figure scores by Daryl Mitchell and debutant Hamish Rutherford on the opening day.

It was the first time three County players had scored centuries in the same innings since Vikram Solanki (232), Stephen Moore (143) and Phil Jaques (124) achieved the feat in 701-6 declared at home to Surrey in 2007.

At Leicestershire there were also important contributions down the order with Ross Whiteley and Ed Barnard playing their part.

The County resumed on 348-4 from 96 overs with the first objective in their sights to claim maximum batting points.

Rutherford added only seven more runs to his 116 overnight before he was caught behind off Tom Taylor.

But Whiteley and new batsman Cox ensured the 400 came up inside 110 overs to seal five batting points.

Whiteley reached the milestone with a six off Will Davis and the left hander moved on to 49 from 91 balls when he was lbw to Ben Mike’s full-length delivery after adding 48 in 13 overs with Cox.

The wicketkeeper-batsman produced a stream of impressive strokes in reaching his half-century from 76 balls with seven boundaries.

The morning session realised 122 runs from 29 overs and there was further acceleration after the interval.

Cox and Barnard both collected a six at Colin Ackermann’s expense and the 100 partnership came from 100 balls.

The former moved into three figures as he edged Mike to the third-man boundary before the declaration.

The stand was worth an unbroken 145 in 26 overs with Barnard unbeaten on 53 from 65 balls with one six and five fours.

Tongue and Charlie Morris shared the new ball and the former was soon celebrating as Leicestershire skipper Paul Horton (15) fell to a low catch by Mitchell at second slip with 23 on the board.

Only a single had been added when Hasan Azad (1) was lbw to a full-length ball from Morris.

Mark Cosgrove opted for a counter-attacking policy and moved onto an unbeaten 40 out of 76-2 by tea.

He dominated a stand of 111 with Ateeq Javid who was dropped twice by Tom Fell at third slip on 1 and 22 off Tongue and Barnard respectively.

But then Cosgrove (67) perished to a fine tumbling catch by Brett D’Oliveira at extra cover off Barnard.

Tongue (2-28) deservedly picked up a second scalp when bowling Ackermann (5) via an inside edge.

He ended with figures of 13-2-28-2 with Morris 12-4-34-1 and Barnard 12-3-22-1 the other wicket-takers.

Javid ended the day unbeaten on 55 with nightwatchman Chris Wright eight not out.