Rikki Clarke’s limited-overs best five for 26 set Warwickshire cruising to an eight-wicket Royal London One-Day Cup victory over Worcestershire at Edgbaston.
Clarke’s 10-3-26-5, his first List A five-for, reduced the visitors to 19 for six from which they could recover only partially to 115 all out.
Warwickshire then made 119 for two, William Porterfield and Tim Ambrose sharing an unbroken partnership of 79, to record their second win of the group with more than half their overs to spare. They now join their neighbours on five points in a group table which remains very tight due to so many early matches having been washed out.
Worcestershire chose to bat but had cause to regret that decision when they crashed to 19 for six in the ninth over. The havoc was wreaked by a spell of superb, straight fast-bowling from Clarke who took wickets with his fifth, 17th, 20th, 27th and 28th balls.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore edged the all-rounder to first slip then, after Tom Fell fell lbw to Keith Barker’s ninth delivery, Clarke dismissed four batsmen in 11 balls with a lethal blend of accuracy and pace. Alex Kervezee was bowled and Ross Whiteley, Daryl Mitchell and George Rhodes were pinned lbw, the last two with successive balls.
Ben Cox and Joe Leach took the score to 41 to at last force a bowling change but Recordo Gordon came on and struck with his fifth ball which Cox drove straight to Sam Hain at cover.
Leach (29 from 65 balls with two fours) and Ed Barnard (38 from 64 with six) added 60 in 18 overs before the former, having batted with impressive restraint, was bowled on the back foot by Olly Hannon-Dalby.
Barnard perished in the next over when he drilled a return catch back to Jeetan Patel and when Jack Shantry lifted Patel to mid-off, where Keith Barker took a sharp head-high catch, the innings ended with 70 balls unused.
Warwickshire openers Porterfield and Sam Hain reduced the target by a third before Hain (21, 26 balls, two fours) edged Charlie Morris behind. Morris made it two wickets in six balls when he trapped Jonathan Trott lbw but Porterfield (37 not out, 62 balls, four fours) played the perfect anchor role while Ambrose (54 not out, 42 balls, nine fours, one six) injected impetus to the chase in front of an excellent Sunday-afternoon crowd which supplied evidence that there is still plenty of appetite for 50-over cricket among spectators.