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"THE ALL-ROUND DISPLAY WE WERE LOOKING FOR"


Josh Cobb and Richard Levi steered Northamptonshire to a third win in three matches in the NatWest T20 Blast with a seven wicket win that ended Worcestershire’s perfect start to the competition.

Chasing 145, 63 runs came off the Powerplay to break the back of the chase and measured batting from thereon saw Northants cruise to victory with three overs to spare and just a third win over Worcestershire in the last 11 T20 meetings.

Cobb, from No. 3, struck three sixes in his 56 from 45 balls - pulling Matt Henry into the mobile bar behind the midwicket fence and lifting Jack Shantry over long-on. His third six, again over midwicket, won the match.

Levi did most of his work in the Powerplay, exploding the chase into life by taking 18 from the fifth over bowled by Joe Leach. Three times in succession Levi lifted boundaries over wide mid-off before a full toss was whacked backward of square leg. Levi went past 4,000 T20 runs in the process. He hoisted Brett D’Oliveria over long-on for the first six of the innings but offered up a return catch via a leading edge later in the over.

His 44 in 25 balls gave his side the perfect start and they went on to chase successfully for the third match in succession.

Josh Cobb said:

“I’ve always opened but I’ve had a great opportunity at No. 3 here, ti’s been a nice challenge and I’m still learning and adapting but hopefully there’ll be a few more innings like tonight to come.

“It was nice to finish it off. It’s a big game with both teams unbeaten but we’ve put a marker down for the rest of the group. We’ve been searching for this performance and this was the all-round display we were looking for."

Such a quick start rendered Worcestershire’s 144 for 6 far under par. And that required an innings from Daryl Mitchell that he has largely become known for as Worcestershire captain. Carefully manoeuvring the bowling around and running well between the wickets, he made 44 in 36 balls. He struck just two fours but it was a vital innings as Worcestershire managed only four overs in double figures.

After poor starts with the ball in the opening two games, Northamptonshire enjoyed an excellent Powerplay in which Worcestershire only made 37 for 3. Tom Kohler-Cadmore fell to the fifth ball of the innings - skying a drive to Josh Cobb at mid-on. Then came the big wicket of Moeen Ali - caught down the leg side trying to hook an Ollie Stone bouncer. Joe Clarke followed, edging Azharullah to wicketkeeper Adam Rossington trying to work a ball across the line.

The wicket of Moeen was a huge moment for Northants and Stone celebrated with exuberance - a huge leap and punch of the air. But on landing he fell in a heap and treatment followed. Stone attempted to finish his over but collapsed in his delivery stride and had to be carried from the ground.

The incident took the edge off the atmosphere on a cloudy night at Wantage Road and the remainder of Worcestershire’s innings did little to enliven the crowd. Alexei Kervezee only found long-on trying to up the scoring rate and from 65 for 4, careful batting was needed to steer Worcestershire through the innings.

They took eight overs between boundaries - Ross Whitely eventually swinging Graeme White over the long midwicket boundary, and he fell two overs later, caught at deep-square leg. The visitors found little to pick themselves up for the rest of the night.

Highlights here:

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