South Africa warmed up for the NatWest Series with England and Zimbabwe by completing a comfortable win at New Road yesterday, but they were being given a scare by their countryman Justin Kemp.
Graeme Smith's side looked to be cruising to victory after taking four quick wickets, but Kemp, who played the last of his three Tests for South Africa in April 2001, made 77 off 87 balls with four sixes and six fours.
Spinner Nicky Boje came in for heavy punishment as he conceded 23 runs in an over including three sixes by Kemp. His partnership with David Leatherdale was worth 97 in 17 overs to take Worcestershire to 163 for 4 and it needed the introduction of the former captain Shaun Pollock to check the mayhem. He trapped Kemp lbw in his first over and Worcestershire's last hopes of victory ended when Leatherdale fell to Jacques Kallis for 38.
Alan Dawson quickly swept away the lower order with the last four wickets as Worcestershire were dismissed for 192 in the 45th over.
South Africa had also encountered some difficulties, but half-centuries from Smith (65) and Kallis (66) plus late aggression from Jacques Rudolph (48no) enabled them to reach an imposing 261 for 4 from their 50 overs.
Smith put on 52 in 10 overs with fellow opener Herschelle Gibbs and then 99 in 23 overs with Kallis before he drove loosely at off-spinner Shaftab Khalid and perished at mid-on.