WORCESTERSHIRE left-arm spinner Mathew Rawnsley is getting a liking for the National League and earned an early birthday present in the shape of career-best figures in the 67-run win over Kent at Tunbridge Wells.

Rawnsley, who celebrates his 23rd birthday tomorrow, picked up 5-26, in 31 balls as Kent's cavalier approach proved their downfall as they made a poor show of trying to make 170 in 26 overs.

The Spitfires' revised run-chase, courtesy of the Duckworth-Lewis calculations, came as rain affected the contest after Worcestershire had reached 182-5 in the 39th over.

The players left the field at 4.12pm and did not return until 6pm, following two heavy showers and it took some time for the first target of 210 in 31 overs to be calculated, only to prove academic by a second heavy shower.

When Kent did begin their reply they made a patchy start with Alamgir Sheriyar claiming three quick wickets. The departure of Andrew Symonds for a second ball duck proved another big bonus for the Royals.

Rawnsley was introduced as his side's fifth bowler, and began by picking up Will House who misjudged an intended cut to be bowled for 20.

The New Road youngster then captured England World Cup man Mark Ealham for 30, having just been despatched for four and six, off successive balls.

Martin McCague, Simon Willis and Matthew Fleming all perished against Rawnsley as Kent's demise proved very quick.

Worcestershire, put in on a greenish track, started well with openers Paul Pollard and Reuben Spiring putting on 38 for the first wicket, Spiring was run out for 21, defeated by a good throw from House, and then Graeme Hick followed cheaply, well caught at slip by Symonds.

Pollard was forced to retire hurt on 25, with a damaged left index finger, and when David Leather-dale went to a neat slip catch by Symonds off Ealham, Worcestershire were 91-3.

However, Vikram Solanki and Gavin Haynes produced a fourth-wicket stand of 75 in 16 overs, before Solanki went to another good catch by Julian Thompson, off Fleming.

Kent did not help their cause, sending down 19 wides, and the predictions that Worcestershire had produced a match-winning score were confirmed.

It was their third win in five starts in the 45-over competition.


Pollard retd hurt 25

Spiring run out 21

Hick c Symonds b Headley 6

Solanki c Thompson b Fleming 55

Lea'dale c Symonds b Ealham 5

Haynes run out 33

Rhodes not out 7

Extras: 30

Total (5 wkts 38.4 overs) 182

Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-56, 3-91, 4-165, 5-181

Bowling: Ealham 7-1-25-1; Thompson 6-0-31-0; Headley 9-2-25-1; McCague 8-0-39-0; Fleming 5.4-0-29-1; Symonds 3-0-22-0.


Ward c Lampitt b Sheriyar 20

Smith c Hock b Sheriyar 1

House b Rawnsley 20

Symonds c Sheriyar b Lampitt 0

Walker c Haynes b Sheriyar 1

Eatham c Leatherdale b Rawnsley 30

Fleming st Rhodes b Rawnsley 12

McCague st Rhodes b Rawnsley 4

Willis c Solanki b Rawnsley 3

Headley lbw b Illingwortth 1

Thompson not out 0

Extras: 10

Total (21.1 overs) 102

Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-25, 3-35, 4-38, 5-64, 6-85, 7-94, 8-100, 9-102.

Bowling: Sheriyar 4-0-21-3; Haynes 2-0-16-0; Lampitt 3-1-10-l; Leather-dale 2-0-14-0; Rawnsley 5.1-0-265-5; Illingworth 5-1-13-1.