Worcestershire Royals beat the Gloucestershire Gladiators by 47 runs in their Friends Life t20 match at New Road.
Worcestershire won the toss and elected to bat and Moeen Ali took a liking to the Gladiators bowling by hitting 5 fours in the opening 4 overs as the Royals raced along to 37-0. Vikram Solanki hit two fours before he was bowled by James Fuller for 16, with the score on 48 in the 5th over. Despite having the star attraction in Muttiah Muralitharan the Gladiators suffered as the Royals duo of Ali and Phil Hughes maintained the aggression, with Ali getting to his 50 off just 27 balls, and they soon got to their century partnership in the 15th over before, with the score on 148, Ali was bowled by Kane Williamson for a belligerent 82 off 44 balls, with 8 fours and 3 sixes. Then Hughes reached his 50 off 34 balls and along with Gareth Andrew they added on a further 65 runs in 5.4 overs as the Royals ended their 20 overs on an impressive 213-2, with Hughes unbeaten on 78 off 48 balls, with 9 fours and 1 six, and Andrew unbeaten on 32 off 17 balls, with 2 fours and 2 sixes.
The Gladiators knew they had to start off in an attacking manner and after losing Benny Howell for 2, caught by James Cameron off Jack Shantry, Hamish Marshall was threatening, as he quickly went along to 43, before he was caught behind by Ben Scott off Andrew and when, 4 balls later, Ian Cockbain was run out by Brett D’Oliveira at backward point for 1 the Gladiators were 57-3 in the 6th over. Williamson and Alex Gidman tried to keep up with the run rate of around 12 runs per over by adding on 29 runs in under 4 overs but then Shantry struck twice in consecutive balls by dismissing both Gidman (16) and Jack Taylor (0) to leave the Gladiators on 87-5.
Williamson and Fuller then put on 42 runs in over 4 overs before Williamson was brilliantly caught by Solanki at deep mid-wicket off Daryl Mitchell (1-19) for 37, with the score on 129-6 after 14 overs, and then the Royals took control as Shantry (4-33), Lucas (1-13) and Andrew (3-20) all took the last four wickets and the Gladiators were all out for 166 off 18.5 overs to seal a comfortable victory for the Worcestershire Royals.