T20: Worcestershire 145-7 beat Gloucestershire 122 by 23 runs
Gloucestershire again failed in half of the game at New Road to slip to an opening game defeat in the Twenty20 cup.
After performing well being asked to bowl first, the Shire restricted Worcestershire to just 145-7 from 20 overs, but a terribly-managed chase left Glos 23 runs short - a huge disappointment given the first half of the game and an opening stand of 41.
But Hamish Marshall played his usual quick-fire innings and that sparked a ridiculous collapse - worse than that experienced at the Oval recently, with nine wickets falling for just 52 runs.
Nobody, save Will Porterfield briefly and Jon Lewis' late heroics, dedicated a moment's thought to reading the game situation. The target was just above 7-an-over - quite frankly a doddle in Twenty20 - and yet the batsman played like they were chasing 17-an-over.
The key to a run-chase is to preserve wickets; even if the rate climbed to 8/9-an-over, so long as no less than seven wickets were intact, the target would have been easily achievable. But the gung-ho attitude the Glos batsman went out with was one of the most unprofessional things one has seen.
Alex Gidman's miserable form in one-day cricket continued, as his registered a fourth-ball duck. If he is only playing five specialist batsman, he has got to start weighing in with runs - if this continues then his place must surely be in doubt if the balance of the side is to remain as it is.
What made the defeat even more frustrating was that it had been an excellent effort by the Glos five-man attack, with Gemaal Hussain bowling with pace and enjoying a dream debut as his four overs claimed 2-17. In stark contrast to the other pace bowler, as Steve Kirby showed why he is always doubted in one-day cricket by going for above 10-an-over; although his extra pace did take three wickets.
Richard Dawson bowled tidily in conceding 26 in four overs, although nothing to suggest he will be a permanent replacement for Vikram Banerjee. Talking of spinners, the ex-Shire Ian Fisher popped up with 3-13 to shove two fingers up to the Nevil Road management and significantly contribute to the 23-run win.