GLOUCESTERSHIRE have reached the quarter-finals of the Royal London One-Day Cup after Ian Cockbain hit an unbeaten 98 to lead them to a five-wicket victory against Worcestershire.
Set a revised target of 214 to win from 41 overs, Gloucestershire recovered from 10-3 to secure victory with 17 balls to spare when Cockbain hit Ross Whitely for four – two runs short of the six he needed to bring up his maiden one-day century.
Cockbain came to the crease after Gloucestershire had lost both Michael Klinger (1) and Chris Dent (4)to Mitchell McClenaghan in the first over of their reply and things got worse when Hamish Marshall fell to Jack Shantry.
A second rain break, shorter than the one that delayed the start of Gloucestershire’s innings, allowed the batsmen to regroup and when play resumed Cockbain went on to share partnerships of 64 with Gareth Roderick (28), 76 with Will Gidman (44) and an unbroken 66 with the returning Alex Gidman (28*).
Worcestershire were all out for 229 after looking set for a bigger total when Thomas Fell (89) and Alexei Kervezee (80) put on 159 for the third wicket, but they lost their last eight for 58 runs as Will Gidman claimed 4-41.
With a top four place in Group A now guaranteed, Gloucestershire will be looking to secure a home quarter-final by beating Derbyshire away next Thursday and hoping one of the two sides above them, Yorkshire and Essex, slip up in their final games at Hampshire and Northants respectively.
Before then, though, Gloucestershire remain in Worcester, where they will be hoping to complete a quick double over their northern neighbours in a County Championship match starting on Friday.