Worcestershire suffered a five-run defeat against the Northamptonshire Steelbacks in the Friends Life t20 at New Road.
After a tight start the Steelbacks went on the attack as Richard Levi hit 3 sixes and a four off four successive balls from Joe Leach in the 5th over.
In the next over Kyle Coetzer was bowled by Jack Shantry, with the score on 46-1, and after the hundred came up in the 14th over, Levi was out for 70 off 43 balls, with 5 fours and 6 sixes, when he pulled Gareth Andrew straight to Andre Russell at deep square-leg.
Then three more wickets fell in the next two overs as Alex Wakely (1) was lbw to Moeen Ali, Cameron White scored 22 before he was caught by Andrew at deep mid-off off Shaaiq Choudhry who then, three balls later, trapped Steven Crook (7) lbw to leave the visitors on 116-5 in the 17th over.
David Willey was then bowled by Russell for 3 as the Steelbacks ended up on 137-6 off their 20 overs, with Choudhry being the only Worcestershire bowler to take more than one wicket, with figures of 2-21 off 4 overs.
In reply Worcestershire had got to 17 before Tilan Samaraweera (5) was lbw to Willey and then 1 run later Ali (11) was caught at mid-on by James Middlebrook off Mohammad Azharullah.
Alexei Kervezee scored just 4 before he was bowled by Crook to leave the home side on 35-3 in the 7th over but then Daryl Mitchell and Russell put on 64 in 9 overs as Worcestershire edged towards their target.
However Russell departed for 44 off 31 balls, with 6 fours and a six, when, attempting a six off Willey, he was caught by Wakely at long-off and that proved to be the crucial moment as the home side lost two more wickets when Andrew (5) was bowled by Willey and Ben Cox (3) was bowled by Azharullah.
With 21 runs required off the final over Joe Leach (14*) and Mitchell (38*) could only manage 12 runs as Worcestershire fell 5 runs short by finishing on 132-6 off their 20 overs.
WORCESTERSHIRE (132-6) LOST TO NORTHAMPTONSHIRE STEELBACKS (137-6) BY 5 RUNS
Worcestershire Team: Daryl Mitchell*, Moeen Ali, Tilan Samaraweera, Alexei Kervezee, Andre Russell, Joe Leach, Ben Cox+, Gareth Andrew, Shaaiq Choudhry, Brett D’Oliveira, Jack Shantry