Three Worcestershire Rapids players made half centuries and Charlie Morris claimed four wickets in a four run win against Essex Eagles in a 50 over game at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium nursery ground in Abu Dhabi today.
Daryl Mitchell, Josh Dell and George Rhodes all clocked up fifties and there was also an impressive contribution from skipper Joe Leach.
Their efforts helped the Rapids to reach 293-7 in their 50 overs after Leach, playing his first match since suffering a stress fracture of the back last summer, won the toss and elected to bat.
Then Morris got to work with the ball and in a thrilling finish, the Eagles were bowled out for 289 in the 49th over.
New signing Riki Wessels made his first appearance in Worcestershire’s colours and struck 22 after opening with Alex Milton (8).
Wessels had joined up with his team-mates after making two appearances in the Pakistan Super League.
After Ollie Westbury (0) fell to Sam Cook, the middle order all weighed in with sizeable contributions.
Mitchell, Worcestershire’s leading run-scorer in the Specsavers County Championship last summer, made 65.
Dell matched Mitchell’s efforts and then Rhodes struck 54 before Leach, who is playing purely as a batsman in this game, came in at number seven and made 42 not out.
Jamie Porter chipped in with three wickets and there were one apiece for Cook, Aaron Beard, Matt Coles and Paul Walter.
When Essex replied, former England Test captain Alastair Cook (50) and Ryan ten Doeschate (62) were amongst the runs before falling to Mitchell and Ben Twohig respectively.
Adam keeper Adam Wheater made a fine unbeaten century but Morris chipped away at the Essex batting and finished with 4-59 from nine overs.
Josh Tongue then cleaned up the last two batsman in Beard (6) and Porter (0) to seal the Rapids win.
Tongue finished with 8.4-0-50-2, Mitchell 6-1-22-1, Twohig 9-0-44-1 and Brett D’Oliveira 6-0-44-2.
The Worcestershire players will undertake another warm weather training day tomorrow and, after a day off on Friday, will take on Warwickshire in another 50 over game on Saturday.