Worcestershire 174 for 3 (Kervezee 52*) beat Yorkshire 173 for 6 (Lees 46, Plunkett 34*, Leach 3-33) by seven wickets
Worcestershire extended their 100% start to the NatWest T20 Blast campaign, registering a third straight victory when overcoming Yorkshire by seven wickets in front of 4,000 spectators at New Road.
Yorkshire's poor form in the competition continued despite a late blitz in which Liam Plunkett and Tim Bresnan took 61 from the last 17 balls to raise a total of 173 for 6. Plunkett smashed 34 not out from 10 deliveries and followed that by dismissing Worcestershire's openers but in a well-paced reply, Alexei Kervezee made 52 not out in 37 balls as the Rapids reached their target at the start of the last over.
Daryl Mitchell and Tom Kohler-Cadmore hit the right note from the outset, and although pegged back by wickets in successive overs from Plunkett, Worcestershire were given new momentum by Joe Clarke's 34 from 23 balls until the England Lions batsman drove Adil Rashid to long-off.
When Kervezee was joined by Brett D'Oliveira in the 12th over, the total was already beyond 100 and with barely a sign of trouble, they saw their team home. With D'Oliveira 34 not out from 20 balls, the matchwinning partnership produced 66 from 7.2 overs.
Until Plunkett's fireworks at the end, Yorkshire's batting was mostly workaday on a slow surface which enabled the seamers to pick off wickets on a regular basis. The barrel-chested Joe Leach took wickets in three consecutive overs, signing off with 3 for 33, but a straight six by Bresnan three balls from the end of his spell opened the floodgates.
The next over from Ed Barnard cost 30 runs as Plunkett embarked on a sequence of 6-4-6-6-4 from five deliveries, one of which was a no-ball. Bresnan then waded into Matt Henry in the final over, striking 14 off three balls as Yorkshire completely transformed the match. From looking at a total in the region of 140, they were in a position to put little more pressure on Worcestershire's batsmen.
The top of the order had been held together by Alex Lees, Yorkshire's one-day captain going about his business with a minimum of fuss. He never seemed to be in a hurry but with skilful placement and good timing he was able to make 46 from 36 balls.
David Wiilley's return from injury was short-lived when he chopped on a ball from Barnard in the fifth over and Rashid was quickly run out from Kervezee's slick pick-up and return from deep midwicket. When Lees went in the 11th over, his leg stump knocked sideways in a good containing spell by Mitchell, Jack Leaning and Gary Ballance made 24 apiece and both drove the recalled Chris Russell for six until the intervention by Leach.
Leaning was caught behind attempting to pull a bouncer that gripped in the pitch and Ballance was bowled middle stump. In between these wickets, Will Rhodes emulated Wiilley's dismissal by dragging on.
NatWest t20 Blast