Jack Haynes scored his maiden hundred for Worcestershire as he and fellow century-maker, Brett D’Oliveira, figured in a record stand during the Rapids 182 run Royal London One-Day Cup win over Essex Eagles at Chelmsford.
Haynes and D’Oliveira put on a magnificent 243 in 36.1 overs for the first wicket.
Worcestershire’s highest ever opening stand in 58 years of List A cricket laid the foundations for a formidable total of 338-7 from 50 overs.
A three-wicket burst with the new ball from Worcestershire Club Captain Joe Leach, maintaining his excellent form in the tournament, helped reduce Essex to 17-4.
The entire attack bowled an excellent line and length throughout and never relinquished a grip on proceedings.
D’Oliveira completed a memorable day by taking three late wickets as Essex were dismissed for 156 in 31 overs.
The victory maintained the Rapids 100 per cent winning start in the competition, and they were clinical and professional in their whole performance.
There was great joy for Haynes when he played spinner Aron Nijjar to long off for a single to reach three figures, and he was hugged by D’Oliveira and received great applause from his team-mates.
The 20-year-old has come close to this milestone on several occasions this season, and he also continued his fine form in the One-Day Cup, after scores of 77 versus Kent and 59 against Gloucestershire.
Haynes’ century was completed off 91 balls with 14 fours, and he produced a series of superb ‘proper’ cricket shots, being strong off the back foot and through the cover region.
D’Oliveira’s knock was also from the top drawer, and his hundred was his first in List A cricket and maintained his excellent all-round form this summer.
He was first to three figures from 95 balls, with a single behind square leg off Tom Westley, and struck one six and 11 fours.
The partnership was Worcestershire’s second-best for any wicket in List A cricket and only surpassed by Tim Curtis and Tom Moody’s unbroken 309 for the third wicket against Surrey at The Oval in 1994.
The Rapids named an unchanged side and were put in to bat on a used pitch.
Haynes set the tone for the opening partnership in the first over with two regal drives for boundaries off Shane Snater.
D’Oliveira was equally impressive, pulling and driving Jack Plom to the ropes, and the pair matched each other run for run through most of the innings.
Essex were powerless to stop the flow of runs, and D’Oliveira pulled spinner Simon Harmer for six to reach a 54 ball half-century, with Haynes completing his fifty from three more deliveries.
It was rich entertainment and continued in the same vein until the partnership was finally broken when D’Oliveira on 123 swung a Snater delivery onto the legside and picked out Plom.
There was then a flurry of wickets with Leach (1), Tom Fell (2), Jake Libby (1), and Ed Barnard (3) dismissed in quick succession.
But Haynes continued to score freely and hit Ben Allison and Snater for sixes back down the ground.
He left the wicket to a standing ovation when finally stumped off Harmer for 153 from 128 balls with two sixes and 19 fours.
After Gareth Roderick’s dismissal for seven, Josh Dell (27 not out) again made useful late order runs, including three boundaries in the final over from Allison.
Charlie Morris and Leach then got to work with deadly effect with the new ball and reduced Essex to 17-4.
Will Buttleman (0) was bowled by a ball of full length from Morris in the opening over, and then Leach made big inroads into the Essex top order.
Tom Westley (14) was bowled by a delivery which cut back in, and Michael Pepper (0) was undone by a ball which bounced on him, and he nicked through to keeper Roderick.
Leach made it two wickets in three balls as Ryan ten Doeschate (0) was trapped lbw and his opening six-over spell brought figures of 6-0-28-3.
Spinner Josh Baker came into the attack, and Adam Wheater on 13 survived a difficult caught and bowled chance.
But Barnard (2-25) struck with successive deliveries to further tighten the Rapids grip on the game.
Sir Alastair Cook (40) was undone by a slower ball and was caught at mid-off by substitute Jacques Banton, and then Harmer (0) was caught behind from another fine ball with the total 87-6.
Baker again showed good control and gained his reward when Nijjar (3) holed out to Haynes at deep mid-wicket off a slog sweep.
Wheater was the only player to offer resistance with a fine 77 off 82 balls before he was caught at long-on – a fine low diving effort by Morris – off D’Oliveira.
D’Oliveira (3-8) quickly wrapped up a fine win as Snater (15) was well caught by Barnard at mid-wicket, and Plom (0) was stumped.