Worcestershire Rapids were beaten by eight wickets in the NatWest T20 Blast derby against Birmingham Bears at a packed New Road this evening.
Ben Cox (43) and Ross Whiteley (40) enabled the Rapids to reach 152-8 after they had been put into bat in front of a sell-out crowd.
But Bears skipper Ian Bell struck an unbeaten 75 from 55 balls to see his side to victory with one over to spare.
The Bears opening bowler Rikki Clarke bowled a fine spell which brought him the first three wickets.
Joe Clarke, who was promoted to open, was caught at mid on for 13, Daryl Mitchell (18) was pouched at deep square leg and Brett D'Oliveira (4) was lbw.
Spinner Jeetan Patel also won an lbw against skipper Joe Leach (9) and Mitchell Santner (12) was bowled by his New Zealand compatriot.
The Rapids were 66-5 in the 12th over but Cox and Whiteley revived their fortunes with a partnership of 78 in seven overs.
Whiteley struck Grant Elliott for six over mid wicket and Cox cover drove Olly Stone for successive boundaries.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby was struck for four, six, four off successive deliveries by Whiteley in an over costing 21 runs.
Cox, having made an excellent 43 off 27 balls with six fours, finally departed when he went for a reverse scoop and was caught at third man off Colin De-Grandhomme.
Hannon-Dalby was kept in the attack and picked up three wickets in the final over including Whiteley for a fine 40 from 26 deliveries with two sixes and three fours.
Worcestershire needed early wickets to put pressure on Birmingham but Bell and Sam Hain put on 98 in 12 overs.
The opening stand was broken with Hain run out for 47 following a mix-up with Bell after the pair completed one run but then decided against a second.
Hain tried to make his ground but could not beat Ed Barnard's throw from the deep back to Cox.
Will Porterfield (5) then nicked Mitchell through to Cox and the Bears still needed 24 off the final three overs.
Santner bowled an excellent spell and conceded only 19 runs in his four overs while Mitchell was also difficult to get away and finished with 1-10 from three overs.
But Bell and Elliott saw the visitors to their target.