Worcestershire defeated Leicestershire by 61 runs
Worcestershire laid the ghosts of Scotland and Lancashire to rest with a hugely restorative 61-run victory in their fourth Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy match.
The result probably doesn't do enough to reinvigorate their bid to win the Northern Conference and, in so doing earn a place in the final, but it is of vital importance to their state of mind after recent ignominies.
Where the severity of the thrashing by Lancashire had produced a sharp intake of breath, the eight-run reverse in Edinburgh was acutely embarrassing and that, followed by a three-day home defeat to Derbyshire, had left one fearful for the rest of the season.
But in a match reduced by five overs per side due to the wet outfield, Worcestershire appeared a different team to the one that suffered at Citylets Grange.
Two strong showings by New Road regulars Ben Smith and Gareth Batty and one from a relative newcomer - Roger Sillence - under-pinned their display.
Smith's 57 was his team's top score, his own highest innings of the season and although it was the work of the artisan rather than the artist, it was welcome nevertheless.
Bowling in a knee brace, Batty claimed four for 27 from his eight overs, performed admirably and deceived his victims both through the air and off the pitch. Like Smith's, his performance was also well-timed.
But Sillence's contribution was, perhaps the most significant of all. The 28-year-old embodied his team's improvement.
Sharp in the field, confident with the bat and effective with the ball, both Sillence and Worcestershire will take huge satisfaction from this victory.
His brazen 44 contained three sixes, including a monstrous drive off David Masters which ended up ten yards over the head of long-on and took the visitors clear of their hosts.
He will remember fondly his wicket, a snorter that exploded off the pitch and on to the edge of Jim Allenby's bat but it will be his run out of John Maunders, off the second ball of the Leicestershire reply, that sticks in the memory most.
Chasing a challenging 192, the home team knew they had to get going quickly and so Maunders looked to run four from a push through mid-off which held up just short of the boundary.
Ray Price collected and relayed the ball to Sillence, who found Stephen Davies behind the stumps to leave Maunders a yard short. It set the tone for t h e innings and, ultimately, the match.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, the Worcestershire innings got off to a solid start as Vikram Solanki and Stephen Moore compiled 36 without incident.
The visitors' captain looked to have picked up where he left off in the championship match against Derbyshire - during which he hit 24 boundaries in an innings of 110 - by lifting Masters over his head in the fourth over.
But when it looked like the openers were set, Moore nibbled at one wide of off stump from Alamgir Sheriyar and was caught behind by Paul Nixon.
Worcestershire's tendency to lose wickets in clutches was apparent once more as Solanki was dismissed, leg-before when half forward to Masters, without adding to the score. The third wicket went down on 61 as the out-of-form Graeme Hick edged former Worcester-shire man Sheriyar to Darren Maddy at second slip. Then, in the 23rd over, Steve Davies followed Hick back to the pavilion with the score on 89.
By that time Smith was at the crease. He brought up the 100 with a boundary and once Dinesh Mongia had bamboo-zled Batty, a run later, the match's formative partner-ship had come together.
Smith and Sillence advanced the score to 157 with big hitting and judicious accumulation. The former Leicestershire batsman brought up his first half-century of 2006 with a late, late, cut off Masters which skimmed Nixon's gloves before speeding to the rope.
The pair put on another 19 before Smith drove dreamily at Masters and was snaffled by Mongia at extra cover for 57.
By that time, Sillence and Worcestershire were well on their way. With Price and Kabir Ali not doing much to advance the total, Sillence sustained the momentum to guide the visitors to a decent 191.
Following Maunders' early departure, Leicestershire continued to lose wickets at a regular rate as they sunk to 68 for seven.
Nixon mounted a counter-attack with 67 off 95 balls but when he became Batty's fourth scalp, caught by Smith reverse-sweeping once too often, Worcestershire's campaign was back on track.