Russell's Worcestershire edged out by Warwickshire
Birmingham, England - Varun Chopra and Darren Maddy tormented Worcestershire again by leading Warwickshire to an eight-wicket win in the Friends Life t20 West Midlands derby at Edgbaston.
The pair followed up their Warwickshire record partnership for any wicket in the competition - 119 at New Road two weeks ago - with one of 107 for the second wicket to keep Warwickshire in the hunt for a quarter-final place.
Chopra, Warwickshire's acting captain, topped his previous competition-best of 65 made at New Road with an unbeaten 75 and Maddy followed his unbeaten 84 at Worcester with 44 from 35 balls. Warwickshire's win was their fifth in six games and set up a possible showdown for a quarter-final place with Somerset at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
Worcestershire failed to capitalise on their best start to an innings in this season's competition after the aggressive Moeen Ali and Thilan Samaraweera added 60 in seven overs.
They were expertly reined in by New Zealand offspinner Jeetan Patel and seamer Steffan Piolet and ultimately restricted to 145 for 8 on a good batting pitch.
Ali showed his attacking intentions from the start by pulling offspinner Ateeq Javid for two leg-side sixes in the first over of the match. Ali survived a difficult chance to William Porterfield at extra cover off Patel but failed to capitalise as he fell later in the same over by top-edging a pull, giving Porterfield the chance to atone for his earlier lapse.
Samaraweera also failed to turn his solid start into a more substantial score and he was bowled off-stump for 33 driving at a full-length ball from Piolet.
Only Alexei Kervezee, whose workmanlike score of 27 came from 28 balls, threatened to break the shackles imposed by Patel and Piolet. But England international Chris Woakes snuffed out further resistance by taking a season's best 3 for 28 including Ben Cox, caught lbw sweeping, and Joe Leach, bowled middle stump heaving across the line, in an accurate final over.
Worcestershire made an early breakthrough when Andre Russell bowled Porterfield with a beauty but Chopra and Maddy took control in front of a 12,000 crowd before Maddy was caught behind driving at Russell.
Chopra, who struck six fours and three sixes from 57 balls, and Rikki Clarke both struck leg-side sixes off Gareth Andrew to accelerate Warwickshire to victory with 15 balls to spare.