Moeen ton in vain again
For the second week in succession Moeen Ali made a Clydesdale Bank 40 century for Worcestershire and finished on the losing side as the Netherlands claimed another county scalp with a two-wicket win at New Road.
Moeen made a dashing 117 - almost half of his team’s total of 239 for eight – but this was countered by an unbeaten 97 from South Africa-born wicketkeeper Wesley Barresi as the Dutch passed the target with two balls to spare.
A sixth consecutive home defeat in the competition keeps Worcestershire at the foot of Group A, but for the Netherlands it was party time as they celebrated their fifth victory, having also triumphed against Yorkshire - twice - as well as Derbyshire and Kent.
A lesser side might have capitulated after a near disastrous first over in which Eric Swarczynski and Michael Swart both drove catches back to Worcestershire’s left-arm seamer Jack Shantry.
Wilfred Diepeveen also went cheaply but Pretoria-born left hander Stephan Myburgh turned things round with a half-century from 45 balls.
When he was run out by Shantry for 55, Peter Borren made a rapid 29 and Barresi became increasingly destructive with 11 fours and three sixes in an 84-ball innings.
He lost the strike at the end but Australian Mark Cleary chipped in with 16 and Tim Gruijters turned the winning single to square-leg.
It was desperate luck for Moeen to go down again, after making 158 when Worcestershire lost by 80 runs chasing Sussex’s record total of 399 for four seven days ago.
A gifted left-hander with a wide range of shots, he was straight back into the groove with a volley of boundaries against a modest Dutch attack.
Ten fours took him to 50 from 44 balls, and after surviving a sharp chance behind the wicket on 62, he had to rein back his aggression adding only two more boundaries before completing his 100 from the 101st delivery he faced.
Moeen finally drove a catch to cover as the Pakistan-born medium-pacer Mudassar Bukhari completed a return of 4-41, his best in 69 List A matches in his career.
Another left-hander, James Cameron, was the only batsman to keep up with Moeen as he made 42 from 52 balls during their third-wicket stand of 99 in 18 overs.
Cameron was neatly taken at cover point to give the tall teenager Gruijters his only wicket, but the Dutch continued to make progress as too many of the county batsmen contributed to their own dismissals.