PRO40 (at Kidderminster): Worcestershire 281-7 beat Northamptonshire 130 by 151 runs.

In the context of its sporting history, this was not the first time a Kidderminster crowd had suffered a frustrating 90 minutes.

Nor will it be the last, given what is served up only a few hundred yards further down the Chester Road.

But could yesterday evening's events at Kidderminster Victoria Cricket Club, perhaps, be in line to qualify as the most frustrating hour and a half spent waiting for a result in this famous Worcestershire carpet town?

At 5.07pm, one of the biggest one-day wins in Worcestershire history had been completed, Moeen Ali's mesmerising match-winning performance was rightly being acclaimed and it appeared likely that, some 150 miles south, his elder brother Kadeer was steering Gloucester-shire to the win over Hampshire that would take Worcestershire to the Pro40 title.

To pass the time, the supporters were treated to the end-of-season awards - a rambling, almost sleep-inducing litany of sponsors'

names, which eventually told the waiting throng that only that Graeme Hick and Kabir Ali had done rather well this year, but sadly neglected to inform who the supporters themselves had actually voted their 'Player of the Year'.

Even more distressingly, by the time all that was thankfully over, things had turned sour at Southampton, Kadeer was out and Hampshire hopes of stealing the Pro40 title from under Worcestershire's noses are still alive.

If that meant an annoying end to the day, it could not cast too long a shadow over what, thanks chiefly to Kadeer's younger brother Moeen, was another fine afternoon's cricket.

Worcestershire hope to prove this Thursday night that their first trophy in 13 years has been a great team effort but the performance which took them so close to the finish line was a bit of a one-man show.

Hick had proved the star of the night when Northamptonshire had last visited here in July in the Twenty20, scoring a 44-ball century. Moeen's actually took two balls longer, making it the joint fourth best in English one-day cricket.

But it was perhaps even more impressive as he took full advantage of the restrictions over the first 15 overs to lift the ball time and again over the inner circle of helpless Northants fieldsmen.

Poor David Wigley - one of Northants' two Worcestershire old boys, who was not needed for Twenty20 duty that evening in July and was quickly snapped up by the Radio Hereford and Worcester commentary team - must have been wishing he was back in the press tent with a pair of headphones on and a microphone in his hand.

His four overs cost 49 runs as he got carted to all parts. He was already out of the attack when Moeen beat him to his 50 in the ninth over.

Moeen got there with his seventh four, having already hit three sixes. And, with a pleasant grasp of symmetry, he was to hit seven more fours and three more sixes over his next 50 before Jason Brown had him both caught behind and stumped (just to make sure!) off the same delivery.

That was only three balls after he had reached his century, with a six over the Chester Road Social Club roof at extra cover. At 136 for one in only the 14th over, Worcestershire looked on course to not only beat but annihilate their own

Sunday League best score of 307 for four against Derbyshire 32 years ago.

But after the storm came the calm. Steven Davies had given great support with another fine innings of 74 in front of his home crowd.

But he ran out of steam, the still imperious Hick was held back for some unfathomable reason until No 5 and, by the time he did bat, the momentum had gone.

They got that momentum back, though, when the unpredictable Nadeem Malik struck three times in five balls early in the Northants' reply.

Nadeem removed the visitors' foreigners - Nicky Boje, Lance Klusener and Ricky Wessels - to destroy any chance their team had. From that moment, under the inspired captaincy of Gareth Batty, Worcestershire's victory was just a matter of by how many.