WORCESTERSHIRE neatly side-stepped a banana skin lying in wait for them at Exmouth to beat Devon by 45 runs and book a home tie with Surrey in the fourth round of the NatWest Trophy.

Devon are no mugs at the one-day game -- they have won the Minor Counties version the MCC Trophy three times since 1992 -- and were Minor Counties champions four years on the trot up to 1997.

And any side skippered by former Somerset captain Peter Roebuck, who barely 10 years ago was being touted for the England job, has to be treated with a degree of caution -- especially if you are the side which went out to Scotland 12 months earlier.

But an opening partnership of 115 between Paul Pollard (47) and Reuben Spiring (57) calmed any fluttering nerves in the Worcestershire camp and set them on course for a total of 256-8.

Then the County's frontline bowlers did their job to restrict Devon to 94-2 at the 30-over mark, which left them needing eight an over to win and effectively out of the running.

Big-hitter Andy Pugh, once of Sussex and now a regular in the England Board XI side plundered 54 off 43 balls in a lost cause for Devon -- including two towering sixes off Graeme Hick in the same over.

But it was too little, too late. Alamgir Sheriyar, Gavin Haynes (2-31), Stuart Lampitt (2-36) and Richard Illingworth had done the hard work by then and Devon's reply petered out on 211-8.

Hick, Worcestershire's acting captain in the absence of Tom Moody, put the win down to the bowlers and admitted last year's experience at the hands of Scotland was praying on one or two minds.

"Maybe we were a bit cautious because we slipped up last year, but our openers both batted well and we went from there," said Hick.

"I thought 256 was a good score out there and both opening bowlers, then Matthew Rawnsley (2-36) and Stuart Lampitt, put them behind the rate.

"Once it got up to seven an over then I thought it was our game."

The third round ties still had its giant-killers, however, and Dutch cricket officials hope the game in their country will receive a huge shot in the arm after Holland cruised to a five-wicket win over Durham.

The game at Amstelveen was watched by around 500 people, but John Wilts, event manager for Holland's big games, said: "I think we will have 2,000 for the visit of Kent in the next round".

Skipper Roland Lefebvre, the former Somerset and Glamorgan seamer, put the visitors in on a slow pitch at Amstelveen, and they were all out for 194 off the last ball of their 50 overs.

"When they were four wickets down, they had to change their game, and I don't think they read the situation very well," he said.

All-rounder Feiko Kloppenburg took 4-25 with his medium pace then inspired the reply with an innings of 61 to claim his man-of-the-match award.


Pollard c Roebuck b Dawson 47

Spiring c & b Dawson 57

Hick c Hele b Hancock 29

Solanki lbw b Roebuck 21

Haynes lbw b Roebuck 21

Leatherdale c Hele b Hancock 26

Rhodes not out 14

Lampitt c Hele b Bond 1

Illingworth lbw b Bond 5

Rawnsley not out 1

Extras: 34

Total: (8 wkts) 256

Overs: 50

Fall of wickets 1-115, 2-138, 3-160, 4-195, 5-206, 6-238, 7-241, 8-253.

Bowling: Hancock 10-0-70-2; Bond 9-0-38-2; Dawson 10-0-32-2; Theedom 6-0-31-0; Pugh 5-0-37-0; Roebuck 10-1-32-2.


Townsend b Haynes 19

Small c Rhodes b Rawnsley 32

Pollard c Haynes b Hick 37

Pugh c Rhodes b Lampitt 54

Hancock c Rhodes b Haynes 10

Dawson b Rawnsley 7

Baggs c Rawnsley b Ill'worth 18

Hele b Lampitt 4

Roebuck not out 1

Theedom not out 9

Extras: 20

Total: (8 wkts) 211

Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-83, 3-101, 4-139, 5-161, 6-194, 7-201, 6-202.

Bowling: Sheriyar 8-2-33-0; Haynes 10-2-31-2; Lampitt 9-0-36-2; Illingworth 10-0-38-1; Rawnsley 10-0-36-2; Hick 3-0-32-1.