By David Williams
Sam Northeast was proud of his 177 as he and Billy Root re-wrote the record books on their way to defeating Worcestershire Rapids by 19 runs at New Road but admitted the dressing room are gutted after their hands slipped from the trophy, they had won last year.
Kent’s last-over two wicket victory over Lancashire at Canterbury meant they advanced to the quarter-finals at Glamorgan’s expense. Northeast hit his own and Glamorgan’s List A best score of 177 not out from 148 balls with four sixes and 22 fours while Root equalled his best in this format by making 113 not out from 92 balls with seven sixes and six fours.
The pair plundered an unbroken 245 from just 28 overs as Glamorgan amassed 356-3 from 50 overs after being put into bat. It was Glamorgan’s record fourth wicket partnership in List A cricket, surpassing the 234 by Root and Chris Cooke against Gloucestershire at Bristol three years ago.
Northeast went past his previous best 132 versus Somerset in 2014 and the Glamorgan record of 169 by Jacques Rudolph against Sussex in the same year.
Glamorgan batter Sam Northeast told BBC Sport Wales: “It feels good to have the record, happy with the batting performance. We did the job but we’re disappointed we didn’t qualify and the sense in the changing-room is that we should have qualified.
“It’s a really good pitch and it feels like a small ground when you’re out there, so you can catch up at the end of the innings. We had to rebuild and then there was a bit of an onslaught at the end.
“It was nice to go past my previous best and get back into form and always nice to set a new record.
“It’s disappointing that in the middle period of the campaign we couldn’t get momentum back, but we managed to stop that losing streak with two good wins and there’s a better feel around the camp going back into the County Championship.”
Billy Root added: “Pretty mixed emotions, it’s difficult when it’s out of your control and we needed results to go our way.
“I love this ground and it’s always nice to come here (after 99 not out in the Championship win) and nice to play with Sam who’s in great form.
“Good luck to the guys who have qualified, I think defending the title it’s been a bit disappointing. At times we’ve played some good stuff and just a shame we didn’t get one more win.”
Rapids captain, Jake Libby, put Glamorgan into bat on a used hybrid pitch under cloudy skies and Joe Leach made two early breakthroughs. Tom Bevan had a let off on four when he was dropped at first slip off Dillon Pennington but it was not a costly miss for the home side.
The opener added only six more before he played a loose shot off the back foot and was caught behind off Leach.
It became 16 for two when Glamorgan keeper batter, Chris Cooke, pushed forward and was bowled by a delivery which nipped away. Leach and Pennington posed plenty of problems with the new ball and conceded only 27 runs in the initial powerplay.
But Kiran Carlson and Northeast upped the tempo as the pressure was eased from the bowlers and the next 10 overs yielded 71 runs, before the captain fell to Ed Barnard for 41.
Root and Northeast then took complete command and reached their half centuries off 66 and 68 balls respectively before cutting loose. The final 10 overs yielded 139 runs with all of the Worcestershire bowlers coming in for severe punishment.
Worcestershire quickly ran into trouble when they set off in pursuit of their mammoth target. Ed Pollock played in typically aggressive fashion, collecting five boundaries in three overs from Dan Douthwaite, but then aimed a legside blow at James Weighell and top edged a catch to third man.
Weighell struck again in his next over as Taylor Cornall, who hit a List A best 97 against Essex, holed out to mid off.
Libby and Gareth Roderick batted sensibly in consolidating Worcestershire’s position in adding 52 off eight overs.
Prem Sisodiya accounted for Roderick who was pouched at long on and then Barnard was caught and bowled by Carlson at 116-4. Libby reached a 48 ball half century but on 58 became Carlson’s second victim when he drove tamely to cover.
The run rate reached 10 an over but Leach played positively from the start of his innings, striking Andrew Gorvin for a straight six. He struck the ball in superb fashion similar to his match-winning knock against Kent chasing another big target in the RLC at New Road last summer
Leach completed a 31 ball half century but then Northeast held onto an excellent one-handed catch at extra cover as he tried to hit Joe Cooke over the top. Cox was more circumspect in reaching 50 from 58 balls before Tongue (23) and Finch (14) were caught in the deep.