Chris Gayle stormed into Old Trafford last night to give Worcestershire some hope of survival as they lifted themselves off the bottom of the First Division table.
The West Indian made a major contribution to the four-wicket victory over a beleaguered Lancashire with two wickets and a flying half-century on his debut for the county.
And he was well supported by the spin duo of Gareth Batty and Ray Price as Worcestershire restricted Lancashire to a total of 195 for nine after they had won the toss and elected to bat on a sluggish pitch.
Batty finished took two wickets for 34 runs in his nine overs and, while his partner went wicketless he restricted the Lancashire batsmen to just 32 off his full allocation.
The only real resistance came from Stuart Law, who hit a faultless 82 - his best in the league this season - before a moment of madness saw his demise.
He charged down the wicket to Batty, missed the ball, and looked to give it up - until he saw Pears' wicketkeeper Steve Davies fumble the take. Law then made a desperate attempt to get back but it was too late. Davies had time to recover and remove the bails.
Things started promisingly for Lancashire but Kabir Ali struck the first blow in the seventh over when he moved one slightly away from Mal Loye (17) and Davies took a comfortable catch behind.
Marcus North followed having scored just two, bowled off his pads by Nadeem Malik, and danger man Andrew Symonds hit just 13 before a top edge off Leatherdale was caught by Malik.
Mark Chilton, the Lancashire captain, was the fourth out with the score on 123 as Batty took a hard-hit return catch to his left that saw him requiring some sympathetic treatment from the physiotherapist.
When Law went just ten runs later, the writing was on the wall, although Glen Chapple and Kyle Hogg battled well for 44 runs off eight overs before Chapple was run-out.
Gayle had a bruising first over when Chapple hit him for a four and a six but soon had his revenge taking the wickets of Simon Marshall, caught for a duck by the ever- vigilant Vikram Solanki, and Hogg, who popped one up to Leatherdale for 23.
Kabir had returned to the attack in the 43rd over and had Warren Hegg caught off a top edge by Ben Smith, finishing his spell with two for 32.
The target of 196 didn't look enough, particularly with Lancashire's weakened attack, and Gayle's 53 from 41 balls in a 73-run opening stand of 73 with Stephen Moore launched the winning reply.
In a fine spell of bowling, Chapple tried hard to make a difference. He claimed Gayle's wicket as the Jamaican stepped back to give himself room to play a cut.
Moore (22) was his next victim, caught off the glove by wicketkeeper Hegg, and then Graeme Hick (9) had the faintest of snicks carry to Hegg.
Solanki (31) and Smith (30) then steadied the ship with 56 from ten overs, before both fell to James Anderson.
Chapple sent back Leatherdale, again caught by Hegg, to finish with figures of 9- 0- 4- 23 but Worcestershire's victory was never in doubt.