Niall O'Brien, in his last innings before joining up with the Ireland squad for the ICC World Twenty20, helped steer Northamptonshire to a six-wicket win over Worcestershire at New Road, a result which lifts them to the top of the Midland division. But is was a brutal 11-ball 29 from Johan van der Wath, which included three sixes and a four in four balls from Gareth Andrew, that saw Northants over the line with six balls in hand.
The day had started on an upbeat note for Worcestershire as Graeme Hick returned to open the new £2 million pavilion, but they could have done with some of his no-nonsense hitting as they limped to 140 for 5, thanks mainly to an unbeaten 62 from Stephen Moore. For the third time in a week they failed to pass 150.
Warwickshire moved second with a comfortable six-wicket defeat of Glamorgan at Cardiff, with Jonathan Trott's second half-century in as many days leading them home with five balls to spare.
On another slow pitch - an increasing concern with the Ashes Test a little under six weeks away - Glamorgan struggled after being put in, eventually managing 129 for 8 with only Jamie Dalrymple (50 in 51 balls) making any significant contribution.
Neil Carter thumped three fours of Garnett Kruger's first over, and then Trott made 55 off 50 deliveries, adding 71 with Ian Bell (42) for the third wicket as Warwickshire were always up with the asking rate.