Worcestershire CCC Under-18s were involved in a thrilling contest with their Staffordshire counterparts before losing by one wicket off the final ball of the ECB County Cup Competitions Group Two fixture at Kidderminster.
Only three were needed off the final over from Joe Stanley and, after Staffordshire scored two singles off the first two balls, he bowled three deliveries without conceding.
One of those ‘dot’ balls also produced a run-out but, with the scores level, Oliver Tucker managed a single to take the Staffordshire total to 178-9 from their 50 overs.
Several Worcestershire bowlers recorded impressive figures and put the squeeze on their opponents after the 50 had come up in the ninth over.
Oliver Davidson was again in good form and bowled his ten overs straight through, conceding just 15 runs and picking up one wicket.
Ismail Mohammed replaced him, and he was also impressive in returning figures of 10-1-32-2 while spinner Josh Dickenson (10-0-33-2) bowled at the other end and kept the scoring rate in check.
Stanley was the fourth bowler to complete a full quota of overs, and his figures were 10-2-32-1.
Robert Jones and Charlie Williams had earlier shared the new ball and removed the openers.
Worcestershire had been put in to bat and were bowled out for 177 in 49.3 overs.
Openers Mohammed (13) and Rehaan Edavalath (23) put on 44, but then wickets tumbled, and the score stood on 99-8 in the 29th over at one stage.
Davidson – 30 off 72 balls with four fours – and Cameron Jones – 38 not out from 62 deliveries with one six and two fours – batted sensibly in a ninth-wicket stand of 62 in 18 overs.
Their efforts enabled the Under-18s to post a challenging target, and Staffordshire were pushed all the way.