NatWest Pro40 - Division One
Somerset Sabres 236-5 (Z de Bruyn 109 no) v Worcestershire Royals 152
Somerset beat Worcestershire by 84 runs
Zander de Bruyn struck 109 not out as Somerset Sabres took the Pro40 Division One title race to the wire with an 84-run victory over Worcestershire Royals.
Somerset comfortably defended a total of 236-5, Worcestershire slumping to 152 all out in 36.2 overs to crash to a defeat that ends their own title ambitions.
The Sabres' second win in successive days lifted them to within a point of leaders Sussex, who finish their campaign with a visit to New Road on September 27 - the same day as the Sabres entertain Durham.
De Bruyn's unbeaten century powered Somerset up to 236-5 after they had opted to bat first.
The South African hit 14 fours in his run-a-ball contribution and put on 128 in 24 overs with skipper Justin Langer, who made 45.
Somerset had made a shaky start with Gareth Andrew, playing against his former employers, rapidly ripping out Craig Kieswetter and James Hildreth.
The last delivery of his second over accounted for Kieswetter - well caught to his right by wicketkeeper Steve Davies - and the first ball of his next over induced Hildreth to play on for a golden duck.
It was an impressive burst by Yeovil-born seamer Andrew (3-49) who soon followed up by having Marcus Trescothick caught at deep square-leg by Stephen Moore after hitting 30 off 31 balls with one six and four fours.
Andrew's initial spell produced figures of 5-0-23-3 and helped reduce Somerset to 52-3 off 10 overs
Their fortunes, however, were lifted by De Bruyn and Langer who took Somerset into three figures in the 21st over.
On his way to his first one-day century in county cricket, De Bruyn reached his 50 off 55 balls with eight fours before needing Kieswetter as a runner after being hampered by a groin strain.
The problem, however, did not prevent him from completing his excellent century stand with Langer who finally fell when he was caught at deep midwicket by Ian Fisher off a Daryl Mitchell full toss.
Fisher followed up shortly afterwards by catching Peter Trego at long-on off Chris Whelan. Arul Suppiah topped up Somerset's tally with 28 not out off 20 balls.
The Royals' hopes of a solid start to their run chase evaporated when paceman Alfonso Thomas bowled Davies, a century-maker in his previous two innings in the competition, and Vikram Solanki inside the first eight overs.
It was a sign of things to come with Ben Phillips adding to Worcestershire's discomfort with the cheap dismissals of Moeen Ali and Ben Smith.
Trego then stepped in to oust Mitchell and Moore whose top score of 40 came off 49 balls with five fours.
It left the Royals reeling on 88-6, a woeful position which quickly worsened despite a 44-run stand in eight overs between Andrew (27) and Gareth Batty (21).