Off-spinner Ateeq Javid claimed career-best Friends Life t20 figures of 4-17 as Warwickshire Bears beat Gloucestershire Gladiators by six wickets in a one-sided Midland/Wales/West Group encounter at Cheltenham.
If a full-house crowd of 5,000 expected to witness a run-fest at a traditionally high-scoring venue, which saw 1,599 runs as Kent won there in the LV= County Championship this week, they were made to rethink as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 96 in 18.4 overs on a slow pitch that offered assistance to spin.
Warwickshire made relatively quick work of the reply, reaching their target with 2.5 overs to spare thanks to a match-winning knock of 33 from Varun Chopra.
Having had an opportunity to assess the pitch, Warwickshire's captain adopted a low-risk approach when scoring the majority of his runs behind square and sharing in stands of 27, 29 and 27 with Will Porterfield, Laurie Evans and Rikki Clarke respectively.
Clarke saw the visitors home with an unbeaten 22 from 20 balls, all but ending Gloucestershire's chances of making the quarter-finals and earning Warwickshire’s second victory in this year’s tournament.
Just as they did when losing to Somerset and Worcestershire in previous outings, the hosts lost early wickets and never recovered from 29 for three in the fifth over.
Openers Hamish Marshall and Michael Klinger surrendered their wickets to poor shots, the former hoisting 21-year-old Javid to long-on and the latter driving a half-volley from Clarke straight to cover.
Tempted by a short-pitched delivery from England international Chris Woakes, Ian Cockbain holed out to Evans on the deep square-leg boundary as the powerplay yielded 33 runs.
Worse followed when the hosts lost a further three batsmen for the addition of three runs in a calamitous seven-ball spell; Dan Christian chipped Javid to midwicket, Chris Dent swept to square-leg in the same over and Benny Howell was bowled by Steffan Piolet.
James Fuller gave off-spinner Evans the charge and was stumped by Peter McKay soon after, with Alex Gidman striking the innings’ only six.
He fell later in that over before off-spinner Jeetan Patel mopped up the tail, removing Tom Smith and Richard Coughtrie to finish with 2-18.