Twenty20 Cup - Midlands/West/Wales Division
Gloucestershire 168-9 Innings Complete v Worcestershire 169-1 (G A Hick 88 no, V S Solanki 51)
Worcestershire beat Gloucestershire by 9 wkts
Opening batsman Graeme Hick and Vikram Solanki smashed 143 in 15 overs at New Road as Worcestershire kicked their Twenty20 Cup campaign off with a nine-wicket win over Gloucestershire.
Beaten three times by their neighbours last season - twice in the group and again in the quarter-finals - the Royals charged to a target of 169 with two overs to spare.
Hick, still one of the most destructive county batsmen at the age of 42, blazed his way to 50 from 33 deliveries and became the 11th player to complete 1,000 runs in the competition on reaching 71 in his 28th innings.
Solanki kept up with his partner as he posted his own half-century in 37 balls before he was dismissed by Anthony Ireland for 51.
Moeen Ali (13 not out) joined Hick (88no) as the pair made sure the Royals past their target with a dozen balls remaining.
The Gladiators' innings got off to a woeful start as they lost explosive opener Craig Spearman (11) and fellow New Zealander Hamish Marshall (8) in the opening overs.
Gloucestershire then launched a strong counter-attack with successive half-century stands featuring the hard-hitting Aussie, Marcus North.
Chris Taylor timed his shots better than anyone with eight fours until he was caught at third man off Chris Whelan for 39 but two brilliant catches by Ben Smith checked the West Country side's momentum.
With North on 45 from 33 balls, Smith ran round the boundary from square leg to hold a skier off Whelan and at the start of he next over from Mitchell, he kept his balance at third man to take a tough chance from Alex Gidman (22).
Gloucestershire finished on 168-9 with Kabir Ali (2-21) the pick of the bowlers for the hosts.