The Worcestershire Royals rebounded from three consecutive defeats in the Twenty20 Cup to bring down the Warwickshire Bears by one run at Edgbaston.
Worcestershire Royals rebounded from three consecutive defeats in the Twenty20 Cup to bring down Warwickshire Bears by one run at Edgbaston.
A low-scoring contest still maintained a high level of thrills and spills for a crowd estimated at 17,000 until the Bears mounted a furious assault on Nadeem Malik when wanting 23 to win off the last over.
The hapless paceman conceded four wides from a bouncer and was twice carved for six by Heath Streak but with two wanted off the last ball to get them home on a count of wickets lost, James Anyon was run out.
Newly-capped Neil Carter took five for 19, the best Twenty20 figures by a Warwickshire bowler, when the Royals were shunted out for a below-par 141, but the Bears fared even worse and only made 140 for nine thanks mainly to Streak's heroics.
The Zimbabwe all-rounder added an unbeaten 59 from 32 balls to his bowling return of three for 21 in celebration of a county cap that was awarded before play began in a joint presentation ceremony with left-arm paceman Carter.
The ground was not much more than half full when a new Worcestershire opening combination of Gareth Batty and Graeme Hick blazed away with two boundaries each in the first two overs, but the latecomers missed a double intervention by Streak in the space of three balls.
Batty pulled a steepling return catch to the Zimbabwean paceman and Hick also mistimed a leg-side foray for a simple take by wicketkeeper Stuart Eustace.
As the ground filled up, Worcestershire surrendered wickets in another unconvincing display by their brittle batting line-up.
Ben Smith edged to slip in an authentic dismissal for Dewald Pretorius but most of the others were caught up in the frenzy of Twenty20 cricket.
Zander de Bruyn (21) had some success until he missed a full toss from Anyon and Carter began his golden night with a first-ball success when he snatched a caught-and-bowled chance from Stephen Peters.
Stephen Moore (21) carved two sixes before pulling Streak (three for 21) to mid-wicket and when top scorer David Leatherdale (32) holed out off Carter, the rest subsided in whirlwind of rash strokes and faultless catching by Warwickshire.
The home side were in trouble from the outset. After losing their openers in the first two overs from Matt Mason and Malik, they hit the self-destruct button when Jim Troughton and Ian Bell managed to get themselves run out.
Batty's off-spin accounted for two middle order wickets and De Bruyn took two in his opening over before Streak extended a match that finished in steady drizzle.
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