Daryl Mitchell took four wickets for 11 runs as Worcestershire defeated Gloucestershire by 59 runs in a low scoring Twenty20 contest at Bristol.
The Gladiators were bowled out for a miserable 93 in reply to 152 for eight, Mark Hardinges top-scoring with 27, and look booked for bottom place in the Midlands/West/Wales group.
Stephen Moore hit 41 off just 24 balls for the Royals and shared a key third-wicket partnership of 75 with Ben Smith (32).
Hardinges returned four for 30 from four overs and was the pick of the Gloucestershire attack.
Worcestershire soon plunged into trouble after winning the toss as Vikram Solanki was caught at short extra cover off AJ Harris and Graeme Hick had his middle stump removed by Steve Kirby.
From 10 for two Moore and Smith played freely for seven overs, with Moore striking three sixes in an over from left-arm spinner Ian Fisher, as well as three fours.
The pair put the Royals on top at 85 for two, but both fell in the same Hardinges over and a see-saw contest looked to be back under the control of the Gladiators. Smith had faced 28 balls and hit five boundaries.
Steve Davies was run out by Harris and Hardinges added the wickets of Moeen Ali and Mitchell as the innings subsided.
But Gareth Batty hit a valuable 29 not out off 25 balls at the death to make the total competitive.
Harris - on loan from Nottinghamshire - impressed for the second time in 24 hours, following his two for 19 against Glamorgan with one for 24 from four overs bowled straight through at the start.
Gloucestershire's reply got off to a disastrous start when opener Jackson Thompson was run out in the first over, recording his third successive duck in the competition.
Soon it was 27 for four as Chris Whelan picked up two wickets, including the dangerous Hamish Marshall.
Chris Taylor briefly threatened with 20, but when he fell to Mitchell it was 51 for five and the Royals were in total command.
Hardinges delayed the inevitable with a few lusty blows, but he was run out at the non-striker's end with the total on 90 and the Gladiators' last hope had gone.
They were bowled out in just 16 overs and have won only once in the group after reaching the final last year.