PHIL Weston's first one-day century and a stand of 149 with Paul Pollard gave Worcestershire Royals an impressive start in the re-vamped National League at a grey and gloomy Edgbaston yesterday.

The County stacked up a formidable 287-4 over the new distance of 45 overs and then benefited from a rain-break calculated when Warwickshire Bears were set a revised target of 231 in 29 overs.

Openers Nick Knight and Neil Smith departed prior to an hour's stoppage and, on the resumption, Warwickshire could only slog their way to defeat by 117 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Needing to score at 9.27 an over, the hosts put up a string of catches - including a spectacular one-hand effort by Richard Illingworth on the boundary - in their dismissal for 113.

David Leatherdale claim-ed a first-ball success when top scorer David Hemp was caught at deep square leg by Graeme Hick and took two wickets in his second over on his way to figures of 4-23.

Earlier, Alamgir Sheriyar halted a charge by England's World Cup opener Knight, then Gavin Haynes claimed two to-order wickets, and victory was sealed by Illingworth (2-6) and Stuart Lampitt (1-21).

The County's dominant position was created by Pollard with 70 off 83 balls and Weston's dashing 125 which included 11 fours and six sixes from 124 deliveries.

The new left-handed op-ening partnership was seen in a different light after producing only a handful of Championship runs in the cold of Durham and the damp of New Road against Surrey.

Pollard was first to flex his muscles with successive tours off Ed Giddins and Weston, after making only one in nine overs, suddenly launched the first of his sixes with a pull off Tim Munton.

Pollard's first competitive 50 for the club arrived with his sixth four in 60 balls, a 100 stand was completed with a Weston six over long off, and an edged four took him to his half-century.


Pollard c Knight b Small 70

Weston c Brown b Munton 125

Hick c Frost b Welch 26

Solanki c Knight b Munton 32

Haynes not out 10

Leatherdale not out 7

Extras 17

Total (4wkts, 45 overs) 287

Fall of wickets: 1-149, 2-201, 3-250, 4-276.

Bowling: Giddins 8-1-36-0; Mun-ton 9-0-44-2; Small 6-0-49-1; Smith 5-0-27-0; Welch 8-0-77-1; Giles 9-0-46-0.


Knight c Pollard b Sheriyar 22

Smith c Rawnsley b Haynes 0

Hemp c Hick b Leatherdale 26

Penney c Solanki b Haynes 10

Brown c Illingworth b L'dale 13

Welch b Leatherdale 5

Giles c & b Leatherdale 11

Frost b Illingworth 9

Small c Haynes b Illingworth 5

Munton not out 6

Giddins lbw b Lampitt 1

Extras 5

Total (21.4overs) 113

Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-23, 3-48, 4-66, 5-80, 6-80, 7-93, 8-104, 9-111.

Bowling: Sheriyar 6-0-35-1; Haynes 6-1-25-2; Lampitt 3.4-0-21-1; Leatherdale 4-0-23-4; Illing-worth 2-0-6-2.

Worcs (4pts) won by 117 runs (D-L method).

Sunday, April 25, 1999.