Worcestershire in record-breaking successful run chase

DARYL MITCHELL: On song with the bat again.

DARYL MITCHELL: On song with the bat again.

First published in Sport
Last updated

WORCESTERSHIRE kept alive their hopes of progressing in the Royal London One-Day Cup in a record-breaking rush to beat Lancashire by seven wickets at New Road.

In going past the Lightning's total of 304-7 they surpassed their previous best run-chase in 50-over cricket, set in 2007 when overcoming Warwickshire's 303-6 in a Friends Provident Trophy match on their home ground.

Skipper Daryl Mitchell (88) and Tom Fell (74) created an ideal platform in a second-wicket partnership of 137 in 27 overs and the game probably turned when Alexei Kervezee edged the first ball he faced between wicketkeeper and first slip.

Kervezee charged on to an unbeaten 63 and saw his side through to a famous victory with 13 balls to spare after easily clearing off the 126 wanted from the last 15 overs.

While Kervezee timed the ball brilliantly, picking off eight fours from 49 deliveries, left-hander Ross Whiteley brought out the hammer blows with three sixes and four fours in powering to 45 not out. Their partnership was worth 89 in 8.3 overs.

Defeat was tough on the Lancashire batsmen after posting successive totals of 300 or more.

Ashwell Prince, with 11 fours in making 69 from 74 balls, and Karl Brown, with 50 from 69, set them rolling in a second-wicket stand of 105 in 21 overs.

Steven Croft was marginally quicker, beefing up the middle order with 50 from 52 deliveries.

For Worcestershire it was a punishing session after a shift of emphasis in their bowling attack since using two front-line spinners, Moeen Ali and Saeed Ajmal, in reaching the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.

By the time they were eliminated by Surrey last weekend, Shaaiq Choudhry was the one spinner who bowled at the Kia Oval and when he was omitted against Lancashire, they went in with six seamers.

Only Mitchell McClenaghan, with his pace and hostility, broke up the sameness of the attack.

The New Zealander conceded three consecutive boundaries to Usman Khawaja before knocking out the off-stump when the batsman shouldered arms after making all 21 runs on the board by the fourth over.

Lancashire were soon accumulating much as they liked. Their innings contained 36 fours and five sixes, the biggest clattering into the roof of the Graeme Hick Pavilion as Wayne White reached 26 not out from 17 balls.

The closest Lancashire came to a wobble was at 150-3 in the 30th over after losing Prince, clipping to short extra cover off Whiteley, and Brown, caught at deep cover off Charlie Morris.

Alex Davies (11) was caught behind when attempting to scoop a ball from Jack Shantry.

The other wickets fell during the late charge, Kervezee holding catches on the boundary from Croft and Jordan Clark (20).

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: "We are absolutely delighted.

"It's the first time we have pulled off our batting plan exactly as we wanted to. Ironically, it's also the first time we have chased in this competition.

"A lot of hard work was done by Daryl and Tom originally and thankfully the finishers, Alexei and Ross, completed a wonderful chase comfortably."

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