A STAND of 145 between skipper Daryl Mitchell and James Cameron was not enough to give Worcestershire victory in their 40-over warm-up clash with Gloucestershire as they slipped to a 48-run defeat at New Road.
Set a formidable 278 to win by their neighbours after Chris Dent hit 93 and Will Gidman (67) had impressed, the County were reduced to 27-3 when Mitchell and Cameron came together.
They kept the scoreboard ticking over, but were unable to break the shackles put on by spinners Ed Young, Dent and James Taylor, and fell behind the asking rate of eight runs an over.
Despite a short boundary on the Cathedral side of the ground, Mitchell and Cameron were restricted to singles and when Cameron fell to Taylor for 74, hitting eight boundaries, with the score on 172 in the 30th over, the required rate had climbed to 10 an over.
It was too big an ask for a battling line-up without Moeen Ali, who has been playing for the MCC in Abu Dhabi, and Alexei Kervezee, on international duty with the Netherlands.
Mitchell fell to left-armer David Payne, also for 74, with five fours. Four overs later, with 85 needed from six overs, the end came with four balls left as the County were bowled out for 229.
Payne ended with 4-51 as the last six wickets went down for 36 runs, Ben Scott’s 25 being the only real resistance to Gloucestershire’s tight bowling.
Brett D’Oliveira hit the only six of Worcestershire’s innings, while Gloucestershire had hit seven in total.
After winning the toss and putting Gloucestershire in, Mitchell’s young attack, shorn of its leader Alan Richardson, also in Dubai with the MCC, started well with the early scalp of Alex Gidman, well caught by Vikran Solanki running back from slip off Nick Harrison.
But they suffered at the hands of Dent and Will Gidman, who added 127 for the second wicket, and again late on as Gloucestershire added 70 off the last 5.3 overs.