The bowlers shared the wickets and a number of batsman got starts but the Steelbacks fell short against Worcestershire.
Northamptonshire were forced to make changes to their side with Jason Holder ruled out injured and Ricardo Vasconcelos unwell. They were replaced by Ben Curran, who made his List A debut and Ian Holland who arrived on loan from Hampshire, Said Zaib also making way for Nathan Buck. Captain Alex Wakely won the toss and with cloud overhead and rain on the forecast, asked the visitors to bat first.
The Steelbacks claimed early wickets again, with Sanderson taking two and Muzarabani one. An ambitious pull from Wessels landed safely in the hands of Holland in the fourth over, before Richard Levi pulled off the talking point of the day, an incredible diving effort at second slip to dismiss Fell in the sixth. Daryl Mitchell flicked Muzarabani straight up in the air and into the hands of Procter to have the Rapids in trouble early at 23/3. Muzarabani left the field at the end of the over and didn’t return, a quad complaint stopping the Zimbabwean bowling again.
Worcestershire stabilised thanks to Rutherford and D’Oliveira until Buck found a bit of extra bounce to rap the gloves of the Rapids skipper and loop to Keogh. Another partnership threatened before Cobb and Keogh struck in successive overs to see the visitors fall to 167/6. Barnard and Parnell both came and went with Worcestershire once again struggling at 188/8. But a strong final ten overs for the Rapids, lead by Rutherford’s century lifted them to respectable 254/9.
Levi threatened again at the beginning of the chase, hammering two boundaries and a maximum before miscuing a lofted drive and departing for 19. Curran fell the same way shortly after to leave the Steelbacks 42/1 in just six and a half overs. Wakely and Cobb came together to put on the largest partnership of the innings, the pair adding 75 before Cobb was stumped of D’Oliveira for 44. Mitchell exploited a slowing pitch and had Wakely a couple of overs later, chipping a ball back to go for 46. Rossington found the boundary but went shortly after, trapped in front to give Mitchell a second wicket.
Keogh and Procter looked to have the game in hand, but it was an uphill battle for the Steelbacks after Keogh picked out midwicket and went for 29. Now needing more than eight an over for the last ten, regular wickets fell. Buck found the boundary twice before a yorker from Barnard ended his stay, Holland and Sanderson both falling for single figures soon after. Procter again showed a strong resistance at the back end of the innings, finishing with 31 not out but Northamptonshire fell short, Muzarabani driving into the hands of cover to see them bowled out for 234.
Worcestershire 254/9 (50) Sanderson 2/23, Cobb 2/38 defeated Northamptonshire 234 (48.4) Wakely 46, Cobb 44. Full scorecard.
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