WORCESTERSHIRE Royals stormed into second place in Division One of the National League thanks to a thrilling one run win over Gloucestershire Gladiators at New Road.

They left Gloucestershire a victory target of 185 and bowled them out for 183 with just one ball remaining.

When the final tense over arrived the Gladiators needed five runs to win.

Singles came off the first three deliveries from spinner Richard Illingworth who then dismissed Jonathan Lewis. Next ball he caught and bowled Mike Smith.

Earlier, paceman Stuart Lampitt had taken 3-38 while Graeme Hick collected the wicket of Gloucestershire's top scorer Matt Windows who stroke 46.

For Worcestershire it was a thoroughly deserved win, particularly after suffering a dramatic collapse when they batted after winning the toss.

It also enabled them to gain sweet revenge for their 50-run defeat at Gloucester last month and came the day after they climbed into 12th spot in the County Championship table with a 26-run victory over Somerset at New Road.

The scene was set for Saturday's thrills and spills when Worcestershire launched their innings with a 94-run partnership in 22 overs between Paul Pollard and Reuben Spiring.

After that, however, their fortunes began to nose-dive and they were all out for 184.

Their main problem was Jeremy Snape who claimed a league-best 4-27. He was well backed up by fellow spinner Martyn Ball who took 2-23.

The County seemed to be heading for a substantial total thanks to Pollard and Spiring, but once their partnership was broken Gloucestershire began to take control.

Paceman Mark Alleyne began the rot by having Spiring caught at mid-on by Bobby Dawson for 34.

In his next over skipper Alleyne had Pollard caught behind by Jack Russell for 53 which included seven fours off 68 deliveries. It was his third league half century of the season.

The first sign that spin was going to hold the key for the Gladiators came when Ball removed Vikram Solanki followed by Snape dismissing Gavin Haynes.

Hick then looked like giving Gloucestershire a more challenging target by cracking 33 off 38 balls which included one six and two fours.

Snape, however, ended his progress by having him caught at long on by Kim Barnett.

His dismissal left Worcestershire on 157-5, a score which rapidly began to deteriorate when Ball removed David Leatherdale before Snape ripped out Lampitt and Steve Rhodes.

Paceman Ian Harvey finished off Worcestershire's innings by dismissing Matthew Rawnsley and Alamgir Sheriyar with the last two balls of the innings.


Pollard c Russell b Alleyne 53

Spiring c Dawson b Alleyne 34

Hick c Barnett b Snape 33

Solanki c Alleyne b Ball 16

Haynes c Ball b Snape 3

Leatherdale c Barnett b Ball 9

Rhodes st Russell b Snape 5

Lampitt c Lewis b Snape 3

Illingworth not out 13

Rawnsley lbw b Harvey 4

Sheriyar b Harvey 0

Extras: 11

Total: (all out) 184

Fall of wickets: 1-94, 2-103, 3-140, 4-145, 5-157, 6-160, 7-165, 8-183, 9-184.

Bowling: Smith 9-1-35-0; Lewis 7-0-27-0; Alleyne 8-1-40-2; Harvey 5-0-29-2; Ball 9-0-23-2; Snape 7-2-27-4.


Barnett c Rhodes b Haynes 2

Hancock c Hick b Sheriyar 7

Windows st Rhodes b Hick 45

Alleyne c & b Lampitt 21

Harvey c Spiring b Lea'dale 30

Russell c Solanki b Lampitt 29

Snape run out 9

Dawson b Lampitt 11

Ball not out 10

Lewis b Illingworth 8

Smith c & b Illingworth 0

Extras: 10

Total: (all out) 183

Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-15, 3-69, 4-112, 5-118, 6-149, 7-157, 8-170, 9-183.

Bowling: Haynes 7-2-15-1; Sheriyar 8-1-33-1; Lampitt 9-0-38-3; Ill-ingworth 8-5-1-33-2; Rawnsley 4-0-23-0; Hick 6-0-26-1; Leatherdale 2-0-15-1.