Adam Hose fifty plus all-round excellence from Usama Mir give Worcestershire winning formula
Brett D'Oliveira adds three wickets in 15-run victory over Northants
Worcestershire 196 for 9 (Hose 61, Taylor 3-42) beat Northamptonshire 181 for 8 (Taylor 44*, Mir 3-21, D'Oliveira 3-28) by 15 runs
Hose, the Blast's third-highest run-scorer last season with Warwickshire before joining Worcestershire in a bid to revive his red-ball career, picked up where he left off in the short format, striking 61 from 40 balls, including two sixes and six fours. There were also valuable contributions from Jack Haynes, Ed Pollock and Mir as Worcestershire reached 196 for 9.
Despite the Steelbacks getting their innings off to a positive start, they were stymied by Mir, the Pakistan leg-spinner who claimed 3 for 21 in his four overs. He was well supported by Brett D'Oliveira, with 3 for 28, as Northamptonshire lost five wickets for 26 runs in the space of five overs after reaching 90 for 1 to finish on 181 for 8.
Worcestershire opted to bat and opener Michael Bracewell got off the mark with a huge six over mid-wicket off Tom Taylor before he was caught at deep square leg off the next delivery. D'Oliveira smashed David Willey for successive fours but was bowled for 11 attempting to flick Taylor to fine leg.
Hose sent Graeme White's first delivery for six and by the end of the powerplay the Rapids were 57 for 2, having taken 32 runs off the fifth and sixth overs.
Haynes reached 27 off 17 balls before he picked out long-on off Rob Keogh and Rapids were 82 for 3 at the halfway point of their innings.
Hose survived a chance off James Sales on 43 when he drove to mid-off, where Willey failed to hold on, and reached his fifty off 34 balls. He sped to 61 before he skied a high full toss from White towards midwicket with the bowler covering good ground to take the return catch.
Mir's unbeaten 20 off just seven balls comprised two sixes before Adam Finch and Mitchell Stanley were run out in the final over.
Northamptonshire began their response assertively and reached fifty well inside the first five overs, but Mitchell Stanley picked up the wicket of Chris Lynn, caught by Pat Brown at deep backward square for 28 from 14 balls.
Mir entered the attack in the eighth over and bowled Ricardo Vasconcelos for 32 with his fourth delivery. He switched to the pavilion end and snared the wicket of Saif Zaib, whose reverse sweep found Kashif Ali at short fine leg.
Mir made it three wickets in three overs when he had Keogh caught by Brown at deep midwicket. That was after D'Oliveira had Willey caught by Haynes for 36 off 24 balls. D'Oliveira also claimed the wickets of Lewis McManus and Sales to cap a satisfying night for the Worcestershire captain and his team.