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Worcestershire break their duck

Worcestershire Royals overpowered Gloucestershire Gladiators to register their first Friends Life t20 win of the season by five wickets at New Road.

Having restricted their neighbours to 119 for nine on a slow pitch, Worcestershire got home with five overs to spare thanks to a flash of form from Alexei Kervezee, who has had a difficult summer since he retired from international cricket with the Netherlands.

With only one half-century in 26 previous innings in all formats - that arriving in a Yorkshire Bank 40 meeting with his former Dutch team-mates - Kervezee held his focus today in cruising to an unbeaten 42 from 32 balls.

Worcestershire dominated the game from the outset but put a little pressure on themselves when losing key wickets.

Moeen Ali, following a successful spell of 2-14 with his off-breaks, was going well on 22 when he swept Tom Smith to deep square-leg and Andre Russell hit a rapid 18 before he was run out, ambling along with his bat off the ground when looking for a single.

When Gareth Andrew chipped Smith to midwicket, giving the left-arm spinner 2-22, the home side were 93 for five but Ben Cox held firm alongside Kervezee and completed the job with a straight six off Benny Howell.

Comprehensively beaten in their first two group games, Worcestershire selected three spinners in an attempt to take advantage of a dry, sparsely grassed surface.

The plan worked to perfection in the case of Moeen, who delivered 14 dot-balls in four overs, but the seamers were not to be shut out of the action in reversing the previous week's 48-run defeat at Bristol.

Michael Klinger, who won that match for Gloucestershire with an unbeaten century, gave Jack Shantry the first of two wickets in successive balls in the fourth over.

The Australian turned a simple chance to short midwicket and Chris Dent was stuck on the crease when edging through to wicketkeeper Cox for a golden duck

There was soon to be another double with the last ball of one over and the first of the next. Cox grabbed another edge from Dan Christian and Alex Gidman was leg-before as Daryl Mitchell began a spell of 3-21.

Six batsmen got into double figures but no one could break free as Worcestershire’s fielders backed up their bowlers with slick catching, none better than Kervezee's overhead take from Howell in front of the rope at midwicket.

Worcestershire Royals captain Daryl Mitchell and man of the match Moeen Ali were happy that their county's Friends Life t20 season is up and running

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