Ben Cox’s side, Otago Volts, were edged out by just four runs in a thrilling Super Smash encounter against Auckland at Eden Park today.
The Worcestershire wicket-keeper batsman made a quickfire 22 as the Volts pursued a 185 target in 20 overs.
But they fell just short and closed on 180-8 and now lie in fourth spot in the six team table.
Skipper Craig Cachopa’s 73 off 38 balls was the cornerstone of Auckland’s 184-5 after they were put into bat.
Vitality Blast finals day hero Cox batted at number five and faced just 16 balls.
He struck a six and four against off spinner William Somerville but was dismissed to the last ball of the same over.
The Volts were then 110-6 in the 14th over but some late hitting by Ben Raine (33 not out) kept the Volts hopes alive.
They required 17 off the final over from former Worcestershire paceman Mitchell McClenaghan but were edged out.
Two other Worcestershire players were also in action in New Zealand in grade cricket this weekend.
Ollie Westbury made 23 off 33 balls as Grafton United suffered a seven wicket defeat to Howick Pakuranga in the Jeff Crowe Cup One-Day Championship.
The batsman came in at number three and hit two boundaries and was second out at 94 in the 19th over.
Grafton totalled 207 all out in exactly 50 overs but a stand of 132 between Andrew Morrison (86) and Brian Barnard (88 not out) for the third wicket saw Howick to victory in only 31.1 overs.
George Rhodes was dismissed for two, also batting at number three, as Onslow struggled to 113-8 from 38 overs on a shortened opening day of the Pearce and Hazlett Two Day Cup clash with Upper Hutt CC.
The game will be concluded next weekend.