Ben Cox smashed 42 not out to steer Worcestershire Rapids to a 170 target with three balls to spare in a thrilling Natwest T20 Blast clash with Northamptonshire Steelbacks at New Road this evening.

Cox collected his runs off just 24 balls with one six and six fours to take the Rapids to the top of the North Group after Tom Kohler-Cadmore (60) had laid the foundations of their three wicket success.

It gave them revenge for a seven wicket reversal at Wantage Road a week ago and was their fourth win in five games this summer.

The Rapids had been 20-3 as they attempted to try and stay in front of the Duckworth-Lewis Method with rain falling.

But Kohler-Cadmore launched a brilliant counter-attack and he received excellent support from Brett D'Oliveira (37) before Cox saw the Rapids over the finishing line.

It evoked memories of his match-winning six with two balls to spare against Lancashire Lightining at Old Trafford in last summer's competition.

Rapids skipper Daryl Mitchell was ruled out through a side injury suffered in the nets and Joe Leach took over the captaincy.

Leach won the toss and put the Steelbacks into bat with the threat of rain intervening.

The vice-captain struck in the second over of the innings when Adam Rossington (2) drove expansively and was caught by keeper Cox.

Josh Cobb collected sixes over long on off Jack Shantry and Ed Barnard.

But paceman Chris Russell was successful when Cobb (23) chased a widish delivery and nicked through to Cox.

Cox then produced a stunning catch away to his right to account for Alex Wakely (20) off Barnard.

George Rhodes came into the attack and in his first over Ben Duckett on six was dropped at short third man by Shantry with the total 54-3.

Duckett responded to his let-off by striking Brett D'Oliveira for two sixes over long on.

Rhodes enjoyed his first success when Steven Crook (13) was safely pouched at deep square leg by Alexei Kervezee.

But Duckett had another let-off on 28 off Rhodes with D'Oliveira unable to hold onto the opportunity at cover.

Seekkuge Prasana (2) holed out to Ross Whiteley on the mid wicket boundary off D'Oliveira.

Leach returned to the attack and struck twice in one over.

Crook (13) perished to a magnificent one-handed catch by Shantry and mid off and then Duckett (50) went for a sweep and was bowled.

Graeme White hit three sixes in the penultimate over from Shantry as the Steelbacks closed on 169-7.

Leach finished with the fine figures of 3-26 from four overs.

It was Leach who then opened the innings and opening bowler Ben Sanderson conceded five wides in the first over.

Leach struck a six and a four off successive balls in making a quickfire 11 before being caught at cover point off Sanderson.

Joe Clarke (1) top edged Muhammad Azharullah to keeper Rossington at 19-2 and in the same over Alexei Kervezee (0) went for a pull and was caught at cover by Duckett.

D'Oliveira and Kohler-Cadmore brought about a recovery in a stand of 69 in eight overs.

D'Oliveira, who survived one dropped chance at short fine leg on 15, hit Crook for six backward of square and Kohler-Cadmore launched Richard Gleeson over the mid wicket boundary.

D'Oliveira made a fine 37 but then Keogh at mid off pulled off a spectacular one handed catch off the bowling of Ben Sanderson.

Ross Whiteley (8) was bowled by Prasana but Kohler-Cadmore kept the Rapids in contention and the score stood at 127-5 off 15 overs.

Kohler-Cadmore's fine knock of 60 from 49 balls with five fours and two sixes ended when he was caught at long off from the bowling of Ben Sanderson.

But Cox kept his nerve in fading light and, with nine needed from the final over, he hit the first two balls from Azharullah for four and a single sealed victory.