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June 22, 2012
Warwickshire 123 for 2 (Chopra 49*) beat Worcestershire 120 for 7 (Solanki 37) by eight wickets
Warwickshire turned the tables on midlands rivals Worcestershire with a surprisingly comfortable Friends Life t20 victory at New Road. After losing both derby meetings in last season's competition, they overhauled Worcestershire's 120 for 7 to win by eight wickets with 21 balls to spare.
Darren Maddy and Varun Chopra made light work of the task with sensible but positive batting in an unbroken partnership of 83 in 11 overs.
Unlike their neighbours, who regularly lost wickets in going for the big shots, Warwickshire were able to establish momentum despite losing Rikki Clarke and Jim Troughton in reaching 50 by the eighth over. Clarke hit a towering six off Jack Shantry before planting another skier into Gareth Andrew's hands at mid-on and there was no danger that Moeen Ali would repeat Warwickshire's success with their off-spinner, Jeetan Patel.
Maddy (39 not out) cleared the rope twice in an over from the Moeen and Chopra progressed at an even pace until his fifth four won the match and took him to an unbeaten 49 from 48 balls.
A crowd of 3,000 at most was well short of what was expected in the early years of the competition and the cricket served up in a low-key Worcestershire innings is unlikely to bring back those who are now staying away. A slow pitch strangled the stroke players and rewarded bowlers who took the pace off the ball.
The home side started well enough against Warwickshire's opening attack. With Moeen the only casualty - run out for 13 by Chopra's direct hit from mid-wicket - they got to 46 in seven overs. However, the innings stalled when Patel and medium pacer Steffan Piolet shared three top-order wickets while rushing through eight overs together for a miserly 36 runs.
Vikram Solanki, having hit three fours and a six in his 32, instigated a succession of catches on the boundary edge when finding Keith Barker at long-on and Phil Hughes hardly had time to get going before he was leg-before to Patel.
Only Daryl Mitchell was able to raise the tempo with 25 from 19 deliveries. A cover drive off Maddy brought the first boundary in 55 balls and he also drove consecutive fours off Barker before he was leg-before to the left-arm seamer.
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