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Bears stroll to victory over subdued Royals
WORCESTERSHIRE were unable to continue their winning streak against local rivals Warwickshire as they succumbed to an eight-wicket Friends Life t20 defeat at New Road last night.
The home batsmen struggled on a slow pitch and were only able to total 120-7 off their 20 overs, with just Vikram Solanki (32) and captain Daryl Mitchell (25) making any kind of contribution.
The Edgbaston outfit’s batting line-up made better use of the surface, though, as Varun Chopra (49 not out) and Darren Maddy (39no) put on 83 in 11 overs to lead them to their winning total with no fewer than 21 balls to spare.
Worcestershire had reached 30 by the penultimate ball of the fifth over before they lost their first wicket when Moeen Ali (13) was run out by a direct-hit from Chopra at mid-on.
Although the ball really wasn’t coming on to the bat, Solanki managed to find the boundary three times, as well as adding one maximum, as he kept the scoreboard ticking over.
However, the visitors really turned the screw in the middle overs when former New Zealand international Jeetan Patel (1-15) and medium-pacer Steffan Piolet (2-21) combined for eight miserly overs.
This left the Royals behind the eight-ball on just 58-1 at the halfway mark and things got worse two balls later when Solanki was caught on the boundary by Keith Barker off Piolet.
Forced to chase the game in the hope of posting a defendable total, the wickets continued to tumble as Phil Hughes and Gareth Andrew perished in quick succession.
When Mitchell hit Maddy for four in the 16th over it was Worcestershire’s first boundary for 9.1 overs, which highlighted the hosts’ problems.
Like several of his colleagues, Cameron failed in trying to clear the ropes to hole out to Chris Wright at deep mid-on for six off Maddy as the scored reached 90-5.
Back-to-back boundaries from Mitchell off Barker took his side past three figures, but the bowler had the last laugh with a full and fast yorker that pinned the home skipper bang in front.
Despite Brett D’Oliveira hitting the first ball he faced for four, the Worcestershire lower order could not produce any fireworks as the innings closed on a below-par 120-7.
The Warwickshire batsmen were clinical in their reply as Chopra and Maddy steered their side home in the most comfortable of fashions.
Worcestershire will now be desperate to bounce back from this heavy defeat in today’s trip to Northamptonshire (3pm) in a bid to keep their quarter-final qualification hopes alive.