Worcestershire Rapids beat Notts Outlaws by 5 wickets in Royal London Cup
Worcestershire Rapids all-rounder Wayne Parnell returned his best List A bowling figures in England as Notts Outlaws surrendered their unbeaten record in this season’s Royal London One-Day Cup and went down by five wickets at Blackfinch New Road.
The South African, who has signed a three year contract as a Kolpak player with Worcestershire, finished with 5-24 as the Outlaws were restricted to 121-9 in 32 overs with Paul Coughlin having to retire injured.
Three of 29-year-old Parnell’s victims came in one over with his three previous five wicket hauls in List A cricket all achieved in his native country include his career best 6-51.
But it was a disciplined performance by the entire Worcestershire seam attack which included Pat Brown, the bowling hero of last summer’s Vitality Blast triumph, for the first time in 2019.
Then Tom Fell followed up his first half century of the season against Warwickshire at the weekend by hitting an unbeaten 48 as the Rapids triumphed with 24.5 overs to spare.
Victory reinforced Worcestershire’s hopes of securing a place in the knockout stages in a competition where they have topped the North Group for the past two years.
Nottinghamshire elected to bat and handed a List A debut to Lyndon James who replaced Ben Duckett after his England call-up to face Ireland on Friday.
But they never recovered from losing three wickets for 31 runs to the new ball pairing of Charlie Morris and Pat Brown.
Former Worcestershire batsman Joe Clarke (9) was undone by a Morris delivery which cut back and James departed for a duck as he tried to whip Brown through mid wicket and was lbw.
Morris collected a second scalp when Jake Libby (0) nicked an away swinger through to ex Notts player Riki Wessels who was deputising behind the stumps for the ill Ben Cox.
Parnell then took centre stage with his treble wicket maiden just when Nash and Samit Patel appeared to be steadying the Notts innings at 58-3.
Patel (12) pulled the first delivery to Ross Whiteley at deep square leg and the third and sixth balls beat the defensive pushes of Steven Mullaney (0) and Tom Moores (0) who were both bowled.
Nash offered the only prolonged resistance, striking Worcestershire’s stand-in captain Brett D’Oliveira for six over long off.
But Notts problems heightened as Paul Coughlin (11 not out) drove Parnell to mid off and suffered a hamstring injury completing a single and had to be stretchered off.
Nash completed an excellent half century off 66 balls with six boundaries but then pulled the next delivery from Daryl Mitchell straight to Tom Fell at square leg.
Parnell then wrapped up the innings with Matt Carter (7) holing out to mid-wicket and Jake Ball (14) nicking to first slip.
Wessels began as if he intended to finish the game in double quick time against his former County until he was lbw for 18 to Luke Wood.
The paceman, who spent part of last summer on loan at Blackfinch New Road, then bowled Australian Callum Ferguson (13) in the first appearance of his second spell with Worcestershire.
Daryl Mitchell (20) holed out to mid off after Patel entered the attack and D’Oliveira (0) was run out in a mix-up with Fell after turning the same bowler on the leg side.
A similar sort of misunderstanding between Fell and George Rhodes (5) saw the latter depart in the same manner after failing to beat Mullaney’s throw from square leg.
But some typically lusty blows from Whiteley in partnership with Fell saw the Rapids over the finishing line by mid afternoon.
Worcestershire Assistant-Coach Alan Richardson said: “It was a fantastic performance against the form side in the country in white ball cricket.
“The boys put together a really good performance, pretty clinical in the field. The boys bowled exceptionally well and we saw ourselves home with the bat.
“In general, with the ball in this competition so far we’ve had some simple plans and the boys have generally executed them really well.
“As we know in white ball cricket, it can be some fine margins sometimes where a batter plays an attacking shot and gets away with it or we get a wicket.
“Today we got our rewards by doing the simple things really well.
“It always gets really tight (in the competition) and people beat each other. Notts are obviously a little way ahead of everyone else but it’s going to come down to that last round of fixtures again like it did last year.
“I’m sure there will be two or three teams in the hunt for the last spots and it’s exciting times.
“It’s just great we’ve given ourselves an opportunity to qualify going into those last two games.”
Nottinghamshire Head Coach, Peter Moores, said: “It’s a bit of a reality check. We’ve played really well with the bat in the competition. We had a few changes today and we didn’t bat well enough.
“It was a tough pitch to bat on, a very used wicket, a bat first pitch and you had to build partnerships. Credit to Worcestershire but we had a bad day pretty much all-round.
“If we had got 180-200, it would have been really hard to chase but we didn’t get enough runs.
“We bowled okay. It didn’t really happen for us. It was a game we have to take on the chin. We are still top of the group, it’s still completely within our control.
“I don’t think we took our eye off the ball. I just don’t think we played well enough.
“We’ve got two group games left and we’ve got to make sure we top this group and get a home semi-final.
“The injury to Paul (Coughlin) is probably the toughest thing of the day. He has not been assessed yet. He’s on the bed and it looks like a bad hamstring pull.
“He will get scanned tomorrow and we will see where we are at. I just feel for him because at the end of the Lions trip he did (injured) his shoulder, came back to us, first game back he broke his finger and then the first game back again, he’s injured his hamstring.
“All we can hope is that things happen in threes and he has got them all out of the way.”
Worcestershire - Tom Fell, Riki Wessels(wk), Callum Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Brett D'Oliveira(c), George Rhodes, Ross Whiteley, Ed Barnard, Wayne Parnell, Patrick Brown, Charlie Morris
Nottinghamshire - Chris Nash, Joe Clarke, Lyndon James, Jake Libby, Samit Patel, Steven Mullaney(c), Tom Moores(wk), Paul Coughlin, Luke Wood, Matthew Carter, Jake Ball
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