Callum Ferguson had a debut to remember for Worcestershire Rapids as he scored 192 in a record-breaking six wicket over Leicestershire Foxes in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Blackfinch New Road.
The Australian batsman was drafted in by the table-topping Rapids as a replacement for compatriot Travis Head after his earlier than expected call-up into his country’s ODI squad to face England.
Ferguson responded by smashing his runs from just 143 balls with five sixes and 21 fours as the Rapids overhauled Leicestershire’s imposing 376-4 with 16 deliveries to spare.
It was Worcestershire’s highest individual List A score, beating Tom Moody’s 180 against Surrey in the 1994 NatWest Trophy semi-final at The Oval, and the Rapids completed the highest successful run chase in English one-day cricket.
Ferguson produced an awesome display of hitting but received excellent support from Joe Clarke, Daryl Mitchell and Brett D’Oliveira in securing a fourth win in five matches in the competition.
There were just seven needed when he was caught behind off Varun Aaron and he left the ground to handshakes from many of the Leicestershire players and a standing ovation.
The Rapids total was their highest ever in 50 over cricket against first class opposition, surpassing the 361-8 made against the Foxes in the same competition last summer at the Fischer County Ground.
Leicestershire’s own total was their highest in List A cricket against a first class county, overhauling their 363-7 in 2017 versus visiting Warwickshire.
But Ferguson and his team-mates made mincemeat of their target as they took another big step towards securing a place in the knockout stages.
Leicestershire opted to bat and Ed Barnard made the first breakthrough when bowling Cameron Delport for a breezy 20.
Ben Raine was promoted up the order to join Foxes skipper Paul Horton and it was a move that paid dividends during a second wicket stand of 131 in 20 overs.
Barnard returned to make a breakthrough as Raine (83 off 76 balls with two sixes and eight fours) perished at short mid wicket into the hands of County skipper Joe Leach.
Then spinner Moeen Ali had Horton (79 off 80 balls with nine fours) caught behind as he attempted to cut.
Mark Cosgrove and Colin Ackermann ensured Leicestershire maintained their momentum during another century stand
Cosgrove raced to a 39 ball fifty and the hundred partnership occupied 66 deliveries.
The Australian batsman (66) provided Barnard with his third success of the innings when turning the ball into the hands of Pat Brown at backward square leg.
Ackermann (71 not out) and Tom Wells (32) saw Leicestershire through to 376-4 off 50 overs..
When Worcestershire replied, Moeen Ali was caught at point off Raine for a duck.
But Clarke and Ferguson were soon into their stride for the Rapids and peppered the boundary as they added 140 in 20 overs.
Ferguson bristled with attacking intent from the start and collected three boundaries in an over from Varun Aaron.
Clarke (62 off 61 balls) was just as aggressive and had just lofted his third six when he holed out to deep mid wicket off Ackermann.
Mitchell, a century-maker against Lancashire on Sunday, continued his fine form in a stand of 88 with Ferguson.
He needed only 29 balls to clock up a dazzling half century before he chipped Neil Dexter to deep mid wicket.
But D’Oliveira proved the perfect foil for Ferguson, showing a calmness before opening up himself to deadly effect.
Ferguson’s magnificent knock finally ended when he nicked a delivery from Varun Aaron and was caught behind.
But D’Oliveira soon completed victory and finished himself on an excellent 54 from 47 balls with six boundaries.