Vaas carries Northamptonshire to first win
Northamptonshire 143 for 8 beat Worcestershire 122 for 8 by 21 runs
Chaminda Vaas starred with bat and ball as Northamptonshire finally broke their duck in this year's Friends Provident t20 with a 21-run win over Worcestershire. He hit a fluent 54, including three huge sixes, as a makeshift opener as the hosts posted a total of 143 for 8 from their 22 overs.
Vaas went on to grab two wickets with the ball as Northamptonshire ended a run of three straight defeats by restricting the visitors to 122 for 8. Worcestershire bowler Jack Shantry had been the pick of their attack, taking two for 24, but his batsmen badly let him down with Vaas and James Middlebrook doing the damage for Northants.
Northamptonshire won the toss and chose to bat in glorious conditions and former New Zealand international Lou Vincent made a breezy 18 before hitting James Cameron to Shantry at mid on. Cameron then dropped Vaas twice, first at deep extra cover then deep midwicket, both off Australia spinner Steve Smith, as Vaas and Ireland wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien added 71 runs between them.
Vaas went past 50 off 39 balls by smashing Gareth Andrew for six over mid-wicket but perished by blasting the same bowler to Smith at long off. O'Brien departed soon after when his off-stump was taken out by Moeen Ali before Northamptonshire captain Andrew Hall smashed stand-in Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell to Alexei Kervezee at deep midwicket.
Shantry claimed two wickets in the 19th over by bowling Rob White for 13 before Nicky Boje tamely struck his first ball to Mitchell at extra cover. In the final over, David Willey was run out by Cameron at backward point before Smith caught Alex Wakely at long off against Andrew.
Chasing 144, Worcestershire got off to a bad start when Jack Manuel, who was making his senior debut, made just three before launching Vaas to Boje at deep square-leg. Ex-skipper Boje then bowled Phil Jaques for 10 and an awful running mix-up in the ninth over involving Ali and Kervezee led to Boje running out the former for 19.
Smith made nine before he hit James Middlebrook to Jack Brooks at deep cover and Vaas removed Kervezee's middle stump to leave the visitors on 72 for 5. Worcestershire's sorry procession continued when Cameron made just a single before he was bowled by Middlebrook as the spinner ended his impressive spell.
Two more wickets fell in the last two overs with Mitchell hammering Hall to Brooks at deep midwicket and Andrew then struck his first ball to Vincent at extra cover.