The England selectors, meeting here to choose the one-day squad announced today, saw a highly-eventful match, starting with a mystery, interrupted by a breakdown and ending with a glorious home victory that brought a quarter-final place.
The mystery concerned the Yorkshire captain Anthony McGrath, who left Lord's after his Test debut with a side strain. On Tuesday evening he was cheerily confident he would play. Overnight came rumours of an England intervention, then an England and Wales Cricket Board statement that it was his county's decision that he stood down and that England had no objection to his playing as a batsman only.
Nine overs later Yorkshire lost their second England player when Matthew Hoggard, having dismissed Graeme Hick first ball - a carve to third man - broke down in his fourth delivery, stamped, and then failed awkwardly to run in again before limping off. The diagnosis was a damaged right knee. He will have a scan in Leeds today and if a cartilage operation is required he may be absent for six weeks. Surprisingly he was still sent in to bat with a runner when the game was lost.
Patched up and led by Matthew Wood, Yorkshire nevertheless reduced Worcestershire to 136 for 6 in 30 overs, despite Vikram Solanki's colourful 60.
The story then turned into a county cliché, the Yorkies foiled by their exiles. David Leatherdale, man of the match with a quick but measured 80, rebuilt the innings supported first by Gareth Batty and then Steve Rhodes. All three players were born in Bradford.
Darren Gough, apart from one over that cost 13, returned honourable figures, as did Chris Silverwood, and Yorkshire fancied their chances despite the batting handicaps.
Michael Lumb departed, hooking, second ball; Wood and Michael Vaughan, both looking in good shape, were scooped up by Leatherdale and Batty, the same combination breaking the last batting pair when Vic Craven became sixth out at 150. Batty's off-spin secured two wickets and Nantie Hayward's pace gained 5 for 49 to force victory with 8.5 overs to spare.
Yorkshire, without a win for five weeks, now face another season of struggle after losing the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy - won with such panache at Lord's - at the second time of asking. Did someone mention Twenty20?Reuse content