Worcestershire recorded their first victory in the Royal London One-Day Cup as they beat Northamptonshire Steelbacks by 88 runs at Campbell Park.
It was a professional performance by the visitors who battled away to record a decent total of 274/9 and then defended it with some ease as the hosts’ batting wilted. As a result, both sides, who had opposite fortunes in their openers, have one win from their two outings.
Having been put in, Worcestershire made a scratchy start as they lost three relatively cheap wickets in the opening 20 overs. David Willey got rid of Richard Oliver and Daryl Mitchell while Muhammad
Azhar Ullah saw off Alexei Kervezee and when Tom Kohler-Cadmore chipped James Middlebrook to midwicket the score was a sickly 84/4.
Tom Fell and Ross Whiteley then shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 90, the former happy to coast along while the latter was more aggressive. Both fell to Steven Crook, Fell for a 93-ball 72 and Whiteley for 52 from 60 balls, and their departure suggested a lower than average score was going to be posted.
But the lower order added 86 to the total in the last 10 overs, a burst that enabled the score to be pushed out to a more respectable 274/9. This will have looked a long way off when the first half a dozen overs finished with Richard Levi, Adam Rossington and Kyle Coetzer all gone and by the time the power play had gone, Matt Spriegel had also fallen.
Crook and Ben Duckett offered some timely resistance but it didn’t last too long before the former chipped Joe Leach to mid-on. This scenario was repeated as Willey joined Duckett for a productive period only for the all-rounder to hoist Mitchell’s first ball to deep midwicket.
At the halfway point, with Duckett out for a List A best 49, 135 runs remained to be collected and when Graeme White gave long-on catching practice off Mitchell there was only one winner.