|Royal London One-Day Cup, The County Ground, Northampton|
|Worcestershire 254-9 (50 overs): Rutherford 126; Sanderson 2-23, Cobb 2-38|
|Northamptonshire 234 (48.4 overs): Wakely 46, Cobb 44; Mitchell 2-40, Barnard 2-49|
|Worcestershire (2 pts) won by 20 runs|
Hamish Rutherford made another hundred to help Worcestershire to a third One-Day Cup win in four games as they beat Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
Rutherford made 126, lasting to the fourth ball of the 49th over, including a 59-run ninth-wicket stand with Josh Tongue, to help the Pears reach 254-9.
Northants were going well on 116-2 but the slower bowlers put the brakes on.
After losing first Josh Cobb (44), then Alex Wakely (46), the hosts were bowled out for 234 to lose by 20 runs.
The hosts had new loan signing Ian Holland making his debut but he was expensive, going for 39 runs off his five overs as New Zealand international Rutherford held the Worcestershire batting to post his third hundred in five innings – one in the County Championship and two in the One-Day Cup.
In reply, Cobb and Wakely dug in but their 75-run stand was ended by the first of two wickets in five overs.
Cobb lost his leg stump to Pears captain Brett D’Oliveira looking to drive, and home skipper Wakely was then caught and bowled by Daryl Mitchell, who also claimed Adam Rossington leg before sweeping.
Northants, who have four defeats from five games, must now win all their last three to stand any chance of finishing in the North Group top three, starting at home to Yorkshire next Wednesday.
Worcestershire’s next game is at home to neighbours Warwickshire at New Road on Sunday.
Northants head coach David Ripley:
“It’s very frustrating. It’s not the first time we’ve spoken about grabbing responsibility chasing a score in 50-over cricket.
“There’s more decision-making to be made in 50-over cricket and that’s the bit we’re poor at.
“We’re either blocking our way into a hole or playing too loosely. Games like at Derby and here we should be winning.”
Worcestershire first-team coach Alex Gidman:
“We were a little inconsistent but we won when not at our best – which is what you need to do to go far in competitions.
“The ninth-wicket partnership got us up to a really competitive score. Hamish played brilliantly, and then Brett and Mitch made a huge impact.
“We’re showing lots of skill sets so far. You’re not going to play eight perfect matches to qualify – and we know we can improve on this come Sunday.”