Warwickshire 228 for 3 (Rhodes 142*, Hain 55) v Worcestershire
Will Rhodes hit his career-best score and first century since being appointed Warwickshire captain to frustrate Bob Willis Trophy Central Group leaders Worcestershire on the opening day of the derby clash at Edgbaston.
Rhodes ended unbeaten on 142 from 263 balls with 15 fours as the Bears closed on 228 for 3 from 90 overs after being put into bat by home skipper Joe Leach. It surpassed his previous highest of 137 against Gloucestershire at Edgbaston in August 2018.
Rhodes received admirable support from Sam Hain, who made 55, in a second-wicket partnership of 165 from 60 overs on a flat and sluggish pitch.
He completed the sixth first-class century of his career just two balls after tea with one of his few false strokes when he edged former England Under-19 team-mate Ed Barnard to the third man boundary. It came from 181 balls and contained 13 fours.
Rhodes took over as skipper after Jeetan Patel had stepped down from the role last winter and had begun the season in decent form with three 40-plus scores in the BWT without fully capitalising. But this time he batted with great solidity and composure in laying a solid foundation for Warwickshire to build a substantial total in their remaining 30 first-innings overs
Rhodes gave only one chance when on 123 with Tom Fell at mid-on spilling the chance off Daryl Mitchell.
Worcestershire went into the game a point ahead of Somerset and needing a substantial points haul in the battle to secure a place in next month's Lord's final. They will have to overcome history as their local rivals have won the last eight first-class meetings between them and are unbeaten in that format against Worcestershire for two decades.
But their bowlers deserve credit for sticking to their task in the benign conditions and restricting the Bears to around two and a half runs per over despite Rhodes' excellent knock.
Worcestershire showed one change from the line-up which had triumphed at Northampton in mid-week with Charlie Morris replacing fellow paceman Dillon Pennington.
Warwickshire made two changes - one enforced - from the drawn home game versus Somerset with Dan Mousley and Ryan Sidebottom replacing the injured Matt Lamb and Henry Brookes.
Morris made the breakthrough when Rob Yates was squared up by a delivery which he nicked through to Riki Wessels at first slip with 13 on the board.
Rhodes immediately looked in good touch and turned Morris through mid-wicket for the first boundary of the innings while Hain slowly played himself back into form after scores of 6,8,0,1 and 7 to start the campaign. He waited patiently until his 47th delivery before dispatching Morris for his first four.
The Warwickshire pair accumulated in unhurried and untroubled fashion and the 100 partnership with Hain came up in 42 overs. Hain eventually fell to Barnard when he flicked at a leg-side delivery and keeper Ben Cox pulled off another fine one-handed catch.
There was more joy for Worcestershire in the next over when Ian Bell drove at Leach and perished to a smart catch by Barnard at point at 179 for 3 in the 67th over.
But Rhodes, who achieved his career best with a single off Brett D'Oliveira, and Dan Mousley, not out 18, saw Warwickshire to the close without any further alarms.