Callum Ferguson played another fine knock but Worcestershire Rapids were edged out by five runs in the Vitality Blast clash with Leicestershire Foxes at the Fischer County Ground this evening.
The Australian batsman followed up his maiden T20 century against Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge by making 69 off 49 balls with one six and nine fours.
The 33-year-old Australian put the Rapids in the hunt to reach the Foxes total of 155-9 in their 20 overs as they recovered from 32-3 in the fifth over.
But in the 18th over, with the total on 129-5, Ferguson was run out by Mohammad Nabi’s throw from long on attempting a second run off Zak Chappell after being called through by Wayne Parnell.
No one was more relieved than Neil Dexter, who had let him off by dropping a real sitter at mid wicket earlier in the same over.
The Rapids – who are already through to the quarter-finals – needed 20 from the final over and Chappell conceded three boundaries but Parnell was unable to hit the six required off the final ball to win the match
But the Rapids remain very much in strong contention to secure a home tie ahead of Sunday’s home match with Notts Outlaws (2.30pm start).
They produced another disciplined performance with the ball after an early onslaught from Ben Raine had brought him 32 from 18 overs.
Parnell broke through in the first over as Dexter (4) chased a widish delivery and nicked through to keeper Ben Cox.
It became 6-2 when Harry Swindells went for a big hit and sliced Luke Wood to Ross Whiteley on the edge of the circle on the off side.
Raine went on the attack but then was smartly stumped by Cox off a legside wide from Daryl Mitchell who also had Colin Ackermann (25) caught at deep square leg.
Mark Cosgrove made a run a ball 33 before he holed out to Wood at long off from the bowling of Ed Barnard.
Chappell (10) then tried to play a ramp shot against Wood and only succeeding in providing Cox with a catch running back.
Mohammad Nabi went for a second run to Whiteley on the mid-wicket boundary off Brown and failed to make his ground by some distance.
In the final over from Parnell, Ned Eckerlsley (4) was caught off a pull by Barnard and Callum Parkinson (0) was run out by Cox after he had wandered out of his ground.
The Rapids gave a T20 debut to Seconds captain Ollie Westbury and he opened with Joe Clarke.
Westbury hit two fine drives for four in the third over of the innings from Gavin Griffiths.
Clarke (3) was first to depart when caught behind in the same over and then Westbury, having made 24 off 16 balls with five fours, was bowled by Raine.
It became 32-3 when Brett D’Oliveira (1) drove Griffiths into the hands of Ackermann.
Ferguson was quickly into his stride with three boundaries in a Chappell over and smashed Raine over long off for six.
He added 66 in nine overs with Cox who, after making 18 off 23 deliveries, came down the wicket to Parkinson and was stumped at 98-4 in the 14th over.
The Rapids needed 10 an over throughout the second half of their innings but kept up with the rate.
But Whiteley (10) perished to a catch by Raine running round from deep square leg off Griffiths and then came Ferguson’s dismissal.