Warwickshire at home with Trott
Warwickshire Bears booked a home tie in the Friends Provident t20 quarter-finals after completing a double over local rivals Worcestershire Royals by nine runs at Edgbaston.
In a match reduced to 15 overs a side after a mid-afternoon downpour, the Bears registered a fifth consecutive victory after Jonathan Trott hit an unbeaten half-century to lead them to 112 for four.
Unable to muster anything more substantial than Alexei Kervezee’s 35 from 30 balls, Worcestershire stayed at the foot of the North Group after making 103 for seven in tricky batting conditions.
It was always asking a lot for them to recover from the first-ball dismissals of their openers in the first two overs from Neil Carter and Chris Woakes.
Vikram Solanki was caught by the leaping Jim Troughton at point and Darren Maddy did not have to move to hold Sanath Jayasuriya’s pick-up to deep square-leg.
Keith Barker, who closed Wednesday’s win against Yorkshire Carnegie with a hat-trick, made it four wickets in four balls when removing Moeen Ali for 23 and Kervezee’s challenge ended when he drove Imran Tahir to long-off.
With 24 needed from the last over, Gareth Andrew hit Barker for four and six but was then caught behind for 17 as Warwickshire replaced Nottinghamshire Outlaws at the top of the group.
The home side relied on two senior batsmen to dig them out of a hole as Trott and Maddy put on 55 in six overs.
Trott, as he invariably does, kept the scoreboard ticking, finding the boundary just six times but taking only 37 balls to post his second half-century in the competition this season.
The England batsman finished unbeaten with 53 and Maddy contributed a quick-fire 27 before miscuing to cover.
Their industry was in contrast to the earlier uncertainty as Worcestershire used four slow bowlers in the first eight overs.
The sluggish surface immediately caused timing errors as spinner Moeen opened the attack.
Carter chipped the second ball back to the bowler and in Moeen’s next over Barker gave an equally simple catch to extra cover.
Troughton tried more robust methods but after hitting three fours off the seamers, the home captain top-edged Shaaiq Choudhry’s second delivery to short third man.
It did not matter, though, as in-form Trott led them to a winning total.