Worcestershire ended a run of six straight defeats in the First Division of the Championship by pulling off a stunning win over champions Nottinghamshire at New Road, where they chased down what had looked like a daunting target and did so with more than two overs to spare.
Set 254 to win in 48 overs after Notts had declared on 273 for 8, Worcestershire had looked to have only a remote chance on a pitch that had proved tricky to bat on. The home side had lost seven wickets for 20 in their first innings while Notts had been 61 for 5 in their second before skipper Chris Read came to the rescue with 120 not out.
His declaration had looked fireproof, but at 50 for 1 at tea, with 30 overs remaining, Worcestershire threw caution to the wind. Matt Pardoe, the 20-year-old opener, was out for 54 after which Vikram Solanki and Gareth Andrew went on the attack, adding 62 in 7.3 overs, including 18 in one Darren Pattinson over.
Both fell in quick succession to the left-arm spin of Samit Patel, Solanki having hit six fours and four sixes in his 85, but the momentum was maintained by Moeen Ali and Alexei Kervezee, who added 69 in 7.5 overs to see their side across the line.
It was Worcestershire's first win in the First Division at New Road since May 2004. Notts, for whom Mark Wagh announced his retirement from cricket, have lost three in a row and slip to sixth in the table.
Sri Lanka's veteran fast bowler, Chaminda Vaas, finished with match figures of 10 for 82 as Northamptonshire beat Glamorgan by an innings to storm into a 26-point lead in the Second Division and admitted he would consider a comeback for his ailing national side, two years after retiring.
"If they [the selectors] call I'll think about it," he said. "But my intention was not to come back. I would have to talk to a few friends and consider the situation."