ben cox scored a brilliant maiden list a century but worcestershire rapids went down by two wickets to kent spitfires in a see-saw royal london one-day cup semi-final at New Road.
the rapids recovered from 48-4 in the 14th over to total 306-6 in their 50 overs after acting captain callum ferguson opted to bat.
a fourth hundred in five innings from kent opener heino kuhn saw the spitfires to victory with two balls to spare.
but the rapids pushed their opponents all the way before being edged out by the narrowest of margins and they can be proud of their performances in the 50 over competition throughout the tournament.
it was another thriller for the viewers on sky sports after the rapids one wicket win over warwickshire in the decisive final north group game at edgbaston 10 days ago.
cox ended unbeaten on 122 from 106 balls with two sixes and 14 fours in another superb contribution from the wicket-keeper batsman.
but equally vital were the efforts of brett d’oliveira and ed barnard in helping the rapids to set a sizeable total.
d’oliveira made 78 from 93 balls with one six and six fours before falling to a superb one handed catch at long on by matt henry.
he added 140 in 24 overs with cox – a worcestershire record for the fifth wicket in list a cricket.
then barnard joined forces with cox in an unbroken stand of 107 in just 9.4 overs.
barnard smashed his half century off just 28 balls with two sixes and four fours.
george rhodes (2), ferguson (13), joe clarke (23) and daryl mitchell (4) fell inside the first 14 overs for the rapids.
but then came the sort of recovery from an unpromising position which has been achieved on more than one occasion and again highlighted the strength in depth of the rapids batting line-up.
cox has had a magnificent tournament with the bat, scoring three half centuries before going to three figures today off 101 balls with a straight six in the final over from calum haggett which cost 26 runs.
d’oliveira’s impact as a hard-hitting middle order player in one-day cricket was also again highlighted as was the blossoming talent of barnard.
when the spitfires launched their reply, dillon pennington struck twice in his first two overs.
daniel bell-drummond (1) was bowled and joe denly (0) was caught by ferguson at mid off.
it became 38-3 as d’oliveira’s first over accounted for sean dickson (8) with ferguson holding onto this chance at short cover.
heino kuhn and adam rouse tried to rebuild the spitfires innings and went to their fifties off 55 and 71 balls respectively.
but then the rapids picked up two quick wickets.
rouse (70) holed out to rhodes at mid off against mitchell and then stevens (10) nicked a delivery from brown – and cox pulled off a stunning catch away to his right.
a stand of 115 between kuhn and alex blake (61) looked to have tipped the scales back in favour of the spitfires.
but once again the rapids hit back as blake and henry (8) were both caught by d’oliveira in the deep off barnard and brown respectively.
brown enjoyed another success in the final over to bring an end to kuhn’s innings on 127 before podmore hit the winning boundary.