No party in the park as Worcestershire take the spoils

Kyle Coetzer has his stumps disturbed by Charlie Morris
Kyle Coetzer has his stumps disturbed by Charlie Morris

Worcestershire had too much for Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Campbell Park as they eased to an 88-run victory in the Royal London Cup.

It was a efficient performance by the visitors who recovered from an iffy start to give themselves something to bowl at and then did exactly that.

Northants Steelbacks v Worcestershire.'Royal London One Day Cup, Milton Keynes. NNL-140729-163022005

Northants Steelbacks v Worcestershire.'Royal London One Day Cup, Milton Keynes. NNL-140729-163022005

They were assisted by some limp and impatient batting from the home side who would’ve fancied their chances after a serviceable performance in the field and it served notice that their limited overs play still has significant flaws.

Perhaps given the proficiency of their performance at Cheltenham College 48 hours ago, the Steelbacks elected to chase after Kyle Coetzer had won the toss.

On a surface expected to provide bounce and carry and at a ground that encourages quick scoring this was something of a surprise but when David Willey and Muhammad Azharullah got rid of the first three inside the opening 20 overs it looked like a wise move.

All three - Richard Oliver, Daryl Mitchell and Alexie Kervezee - fell to catches behind the wicket without doing any damage and this extended to Tom Kohler-Cadmore who tamely chipped James Middlebrook to midwicket.

Northants Steelbacks v Worcestershire.'Royal London One Day Cup, Milton Keynes. NNL-140729-163034005

Northants Steelbacks v Worcestershire.'Royal London One Day Cup, Milton Keynes. NNL-140729-163034005

At 84-4 the visitors were camped on the back foot but Tom Fell and Ross Whiteley engineered a good fightback in their contrasting styles, Fell adopted the role of anchor while Whiteley did the enforcing.

The former advanced to a well made 79-ball half century without doing anything memorable and it was his partner who was the more expansive with a trio of sixes.

They added 90 for the fifth wicket but both fell in quick succession to Steven Crook, Whiteley for a brisk 52, which meant an under-par total appeared likely.

However, the lower order rallied well by taking the final 10 overs for 86 which pushed the score up to the much more defendable 274-9.

Northants Steelbacks v Worcestershire.'Royal London One Day Cup, Milton Keynes. NNL-140729-163117005

Northants Steelbacks v Worcestershire.'Royal London One Day Cup, Milton Keynes. NNL-140729-163117005

And it would’ve seemed a long way in the distance six overs into the reply as Richard Levi, Adam Rossington and Coetzer were all given the chance to have an early shower by Mitchell McClenaghan, Joe Leach and Charlie Morris respectively.

The New Zealander thudded one into Matt Spriegel’s pads before the powerplay had ended to worsen the hosts’ predicament but this was followed by the first period of resistance as Crook and Ben Duckett steadied the listing vessel.

This recovery didn’t stretch too far before Crook lobbed Leach to mid-on but Duckett, showing some good form for the first time in a couple of months, was joined by Willey and the pair maintained the required rate without too much difficulty.

But keeping the run rate up is negated to a certain degree if wickets are continually thrown away and Willey, who was going along nicely, gifted his to Mitchell as he skied his first ball to deep midwicket.

Midway through their allocation, with Duckett gone for a List A best 49, just less than half of the required amount was outstanding.

The baffling lack of patience - it isn’t a crime to take some time - manifested itself, again, as Graeme White lifted Mitchell to long-on before he had scored and from this point there was only one outcome.