Worcestershire Rapids were involved in a thrilling tie in their Royal London One-Day Cup match with Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Wantage Road.

A bye off the final delivery of the game from Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach meant Northamptonshire closed on 277-7 in their 50 overs in reply to the Rapids 277-9.

A share of the spoils maintained the Rapids unbeaten start to the campaign and a haul of five points from their opening three games.

Fine efforts from recalled opener Daryl Mitchell, a career-best List A knock from wicket-keeper Ben Cox and another vital late order contribution from Ed Barnard ensured the Rapids posted a competitive total.

Then, after a century from Rob Newton appeared to put Northamptonshire in control, the Rapids fought back with the ball from 198-3 with skipper Brett D'Oliveira bowling another fine spell.

Worcestershire were put into bat and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (7) feathered a catch through to keeper Adam Rossington off Richard Gleeson.

Tom Fell (1) then tried to work Ben Sanderson on the leg side and lost his off stump at 15-2 in the seventh over.

Mitchell and Joe Clarke brought about a recovery during a third wicket stand of 70 in 14 overs.

Clarke (23) was trapped lbw by Azharullah after being pinned in his crease and then D'Oliveira (0) called for a quick single after pushing Graeme White to mid off and being beaten by Gleeson's direct hit.

Worcestershire were then 84-4 and had a let off when Cox on five was dropped at long on off Josh Cobb.

Mitchell went to his half century off 61 balls with five fours but after making 75 he holed out to extra cover off White at 118-5.

Cox was joined by Ross Whiteley and the wicket-keeper batsman went on the offensive in an over from Cobb that cost 17 runs.

The Cox-Whiteley stand was worth 55 before the latter on 19 drilled a pitched up delivery from White to short extra cover.

Cox hammered White over the head of Gleeson on the boundary to bring up his half century off just 54 balls – his first in List A cricket.

Worcestershire looked as if they would struggle to reach a sizeable total when Azharullah bowled Joe Leach (4) and John Hastings (1) in the same over to leave them on 199-8.

But then came a crucial stand between Cox and Ed Barnard which realised 51 in only 5.3 overs.

Cox went to 82 off 75 balls with two sixes and seven fours before he played a ramp shot at Gleeson and was caught by White at third man.

Barnard continued to score freely and a further 27 invaluable runs came from the final 2.5 overs in tandem with Jack Shantry.

Barnard finished unbeaten on 42 off 27 balls with two sixes and three fours and Shantry struck the final two deliveries of the innings for four to finish 12 not out.

Northants made a positive start to their reply via Rob Newton and Josh Cobb who put on 55 in nine overs before the latter on 25 dragged a Shantry delivery onto the stumps.

Richard Levi (4) fell to Whiteley on the boundary in Barnard's first over. Another bowling change also brought an instant success as Rob Keogh (10) lobbed up a return catch to D'Oliveira at 92-3 in the 18th over.

But Newton and Alex Wakely put Northants in the driving seat with a stand of 106 in 21 overs.

Newton brought his century up off 109 deliveries with nine fours but then three quickfire wickets revived Worcestershire's hopes.

Shantry brought an end to Newton's fine knock on 109 when he holed out in the deep to Clarke.

Wakely (52) was then run out after Adam Rossington called him through for a quick single off Shantry with Cox removing the bails from D'Oliveira's throw.

Then it became 219-6 as Steven Crook departed for a first ball duck, caught behind off D'Oliveira.

Hastings returned to the attack and White (5) provided Cox with another catch.

Adam Rossington was then the chief threat to the Rapids with a 48 ball half century but Hastings bowled two tight overs to leave the Steelbacks needing 14 off the final over from Leach.

Rossington struck a leg side boundary off the first ball and, after two dot balls, collected successive boundaries via a paddle sweep and over square leg before the bye off the final delivery meant honours ended even.