Worcestershire hit their highest ever List A score against Durham as they launched their Metro Bank One Day Cup campaign with an impressive 42 run success at the Seat Unique Riverside.
Kashif Ali continued the form he had shown in last summer’s competition by top-scoring with 76 off only 59 balls in a total of 318-9 in 50 overs.
It surpassed Worcestershire’s previous best total against Durham of 275-3 at New Road in 2001.
Spinners Josh Baker and Brett D’Oliveira then did the damage with the ball, both picking up three wickets, and having combined figures of 20-0-108-6 as Durham were bowled out for 276 in 46.2 overs.
It was the ideal start for the Rapids as they look to build on their successful Vitality Blast campaign when reaching the quarter-finals.
Kashif had scored a superb century on his List A debut against Kent at New Road 12 months ago and again demonstrated that outstanding potential..
Keeper-batter Ben Cox’s unbeaten half century then shepherded the Rapids to a formidable total.
There were important contributions from the entire top six with openers Brett D’Oliveira and Azhar Ali laying the foundations which were built on by new signing Rob Jones and skipper Jake Libby before the onslaught from Kashif and Cox.
Worcestershire were even able to overcome being on the receiving end of a hat-trick from spinner Liam Trevaskis.
Durham also scored freely during the initial part of their innings against the seamers as they reached 108-1 in the 16th over.
But Baker did the initial damage and then D’Oliveira turned the screw with a flurry of wickets.
Libby was leading the Rapids in an official capacity for the first time and they were put into bat.
It was a new look opening pair for the Rapids with Club Captain D’Oliveira and Azhar Ali and they began in positive fashion.
D’Oliveira survived two difficult half chances at point against Paul Coughlin but also cut the same bowler for four boundaries.
Azhar collected his first boundary from a cover drive off the same bowler .
He then lifted Durham debutant Migael Pretorious over mid-off for another four and turned him off his hips to the ropes to bring up the 50 in eight overs.
The partnership was worth 58 when D’Oliveira (28) moved across his stumps to attempt a ramp shot and was adjudged lbw to Coughlin.
Azhar looked in excellent touch and he greeted Oliver Gibson’s introduction into the attack with a huge six over deep mid wicket.
He made 41 off only 36 deliveries before he was bowled by a delivery from Gibson which nipped back and hit the top of middle stump.
Jones off drove Jonny Bushnell for his first boundary and the 100 came up from the final ball of the 16th over.
He had made an accomplished 24 when he was lbw sweeping against Liam Trevaskis at 122-3.
Kashif Ali was quickly into his stride with a huge six over long on off spinner Liam Trevaskis.
Libby also accumulated in an effective manner and lifted Drissell over extra cover to the ropes.
Kashif collected a second maximum off George Drissell which enabled him to complete a 44 ball half century.
The stand was worth 72 in 13.2 overs when Libby, having made 45 off 61 balls, was caught off the splice at mid on attempting a big hit off Bushnell.
Kashif was joined by Cox and the pair added 44 in quick time.
The 41st over from Drissell brought 19 runs with Kashif twice pulling for six over mid wicket and Cox sweeping for a boundary.
But then Trevaskis ended his 10 over spell with a hat-trick.
Kashif (76) went lbw playing the reverse sweep and then Waite (0) and Joe Leach (0) were both bowled with the total on 248-7.
Baker (3) gloved a short ball from Coughlin through to the keeper but Cox improvised effectively after playing himself in to ensure a formidable total was reached.
He ramped Coughlin over the keeper for four and received useful support from Dillon Pennington (15) before the pace bowler holed out to long on off Pretorious.
Cox, who struck three fifties in six knocks in the 2022 competition, completed a fine half century from 47 balls with four boundaries in the final over.
Himself and last man Ben Gibbon then took toll of Pretorious with a six apiece in an over costing 17 runs.
Durham made a positive start to their reply but Gibbon made the first breakthrough when Alex Lees (12) went for a drive and Cox held onto a good catch away to his left with 43 on the board.
Graham Clark completed a 44-ball half century but Baker picked up two key scalps after his introduction into the attack at 88-1 from 12 overs.
David Bedingham (31) was caught off a thick leading edge at long on and then Clark (79) was stumped at the second attempt by Cox who reverse-handed the ball back onto the stumps.
Worcestershire turned the screw against a young and inexperienced middle order and debutant Ben McKinney (5) chopped on in Matthew Waite’s first over.
D’Oliveira and Waite gave them very little to hit and there was a nine over spell without a boundary as the run rate climbed sharply.
Michael Jones (15) was undone by a googly from D’Oliveira and trapped lbw and he then bowled Trevaskis (12) after he gave himself room.
There was a third success for D’Oliveira (10-0-55-3) as Coughlin (23) flat batted a delivery out to deep mid-wicket where Kashif demonstrated a safe pair of hands.
Baker came back into the attack and enjoyed further reward when Pretorious (15) aimed a big legside hit and was bowled and he finished with 10-0-53-3.
Bushnell reached a 59 ball half century before Drissell (15) was run out by D’Oliveira’s brilliant direct hit at the non-striker’s end running in from long on after attempting a second run off Waite.
Victory was wrapped up when Gibson (1) was yorked by Pennington with 22 balls remaining.
Rapids are next in action on Friday as they host Glamorgan in the first home game of the competition. Advanced tickets are just £10 for adults and £1 for juniors and can be bought by clicking here.