Worcestershire 192 for 7 (Guptill 51, Ferguson 45, Brookes 2-28) beat Birmingham 188 for 9 (Hain 70, Barnard 3-29, Brown 3-28) by four runs
Worcestershire Rapids made it two wins in 24 hours as they triumphed by four runs against local rivals Birmingham Bears in the Vitality Blast despite another fine knock from Sam Hain at a packed Blackfinch New Road.
Hain followed up his excellent Tri-Series for England Lions in which he scored two centuries by making an excellent 70 off 44 balls.
But the Rapids total of 192 for 7 was just beyond Hain and the Bears as skipper Brett D’Oliveira’s side followed up the last over win over Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford yesterday evening with another impressive performance.
Pat Brown and Ed Barnard picked up three wickets apiece for the Rapids.
But a last wicket stand of 36 between Tim Ambrose (23 not out) and Oliver Hannon-Dalby (15 not out) meant the result was in doubt to the final delivery.
Loan signing, paceman Luke Wood from Nottinghamshire, bowled the final six balls and conceded just seven runs with some straight and accurate bowling.
The Rapids were put into bat and Joe Clarke immediately looked in good touch with a string of boundaries.
He collected three in Oliver Hannon-Dalby’s first over and then struck Colin De Grandhomme for 4-4-4-6 off successive balls.
But after making 33 off 14 deliveries, the England Lions batsman went for a scoop shot against Harry Brookes and only succeeded in nicking through to keeper Tim Ambrose.
Martin Guptill played second fiddle to Clarke but then upped the ante himself with a trio of fours in Will Rhodes’ first over before pulling Bears captain Grant Elliott over the mid wicket boundary.
He brought up his half century off 38 balls with seven fours and a six but added only one more before caught off a skier by Hannon Dalby off De Grandhomme.
The partnership with Callum Ferguson was worth 60 off eight overs.
Ben Cox (7) holed out to long on off Jeetan Patel but Ferguson collected two sixes in an over from the New Zealander.
He perished for 45 from 34 balls attempting a scoop shot and being pouched backward of square off De Grandhomme.
The Rapids lost three wickets in four balls at the conclusion of the innings, two of them in successive balls to Hannon-Dalby.
Ed Pollock gave the Bears a flying start with two sixes in an opening over from Worcestershire loan signing, Luke Wood from Nottinghamshire, which cost 20 runs.
But youngster Pat Brown’s second ball accounted for the in-form Ian Bell who was bowled for a duck.
Brown enjoyed another breakthrough in his next over as Pollock (28) nicked through to keeper Cox.
It became 49-3 when Clarke produced a stunning low catch at long to account for Adam Hose (6) off Ed Barnard.
Spinner George Rhodes increased the pressure on the Bears by bowling Elliott (4) after he went for an expansive drive.
Then Colin Grandhomme (15), having planted one Daryl Mitchell delivery over the mid wicket boundary, aimed another shot in the same area off the same bowler and was caught by Barnard
The game swung back towards the Bears as Sam Hain hit Rhodes for two sixes in an over costing 20 runs to reach a 36 ball half century.
But after racing to 70 off 44 balls – with four sixes and five fours – he went for one big hit too many and became Mitchell’s second victim as the safe pair of hands of Whiteley at deep mid wicket made no mistake.
Barnard came back into the attack and snapped up Will Rhodes (21) and Jeetan Patel (1) in one over – caught at long on and lbw respectively.
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