IT was a tough opening day for Worcestershire as Durham piled on the runs on Sunday as their County Championship clash got underway.

Following a break for the Vitality Blast, it was a welcomed return to red ball cricket for The Pears after what has been a disastrous few weeks of T20.

But there was little joy on day one at The Riverside as the Durham batters enjoyed a strong start.

New Zealander Rachin Ravindra hit a fine unbeaten 178 on debut for the county and a 230-run stand with captain Scott Borthwick (96) saw the hosts close on 375/3.

Borthwick won the toss ans chose to have a bat on the green-tinged pitch.

Worcestershire's Charlie Morris was the first to strike when opener Michael Jones (21) edged a delivery through to Gareth Roderick, who was keeping wicket in place of Ben Cox.

Ravindra came to the crease and despite both he and Borthwick riding their luck at times early on, both proved incredibly difficult to budge as they racked up the runs.

The Kiwi offered up a first chance for the bowlers on 113 when attempting to drive Josh Baker, although it was a sharp opportunity and travelling fast to the left of Ed Barnard at slip.

Baker was rewarded shortly afterwards when Borthwick on 96 went for a sweep and was lbw to end a stand of 230 in 52.1 overs with Ravindra.

At 262-2 it was a big wicket and when David Bedingham (6) came and went after nicking Ben Gibbon to Roderick, the visitors secured a first bowling point.

But it did not prove to give Worcestershire an edge as debutant Jonathan Bushnell (61*) joined Ravindra at the crease to go on and add a further 104 runs together to end the day 375-3.