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Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Monday, 25 May 2009 17:56 UK

Fisher spins Worcs to opening win

Worcestershire 145-7 beat Gloucestershire 122 by 23 runs. Worcs 2pts

Ian Fisher
Ian Fisher arrived at Worcester during the winter after leaving Bristol

Worcestershire spinner Ian Fisher played a key role with a hat-trick at New Road to help beat his old county Gloucestershire by 23 runs.

Defending only 145-7, Steve Rhodes' men looked there for the taking.

But, although Ashley Noffke (top scorer with 34) went for 33 off three overs, the rest of the home attack responded, bowling out Gloucestershire for 122.

Chris Whelan, Gareth Batty and Daryl Mitchell all took two wickets, while Fisher turned the screw at the end.

Worcestershire, humiliated on home soil by Ireland in the Friends Provident Trophy less than a week earlier, had looked on the back foot after slumping to 46-4.

Main stroke makers Vikram Solanki, Steven Davies, Moeen Ali and Ben Smith were all back in the hutch.

And former New Road trialist Gemaal Hussain had got two of those wickets in an impressive Gloucestershire debut, shipping just 17 runs off his four overs.

But the ever reliable Daryl Mitchell played the anchor role, first with Stephen Moore (29), then with Noffke, as his typically watchful 32 off 36 balls helped the home side post a defendable score.

And once the visitors had slid rapidly from 41-0 to 54-3, losing opening pair William Porterfield (25), Hamish Marshall and skipper Alex Gidman for a fourth-ball duck, the Worcester attack did the rest.

Gloucestershire already looked on their way to defeat when Fisher finished them off with the first hat-trick of his professional career.

Worcestershire old boy Steve Adshead became the left-arm spinner's first victim with a loose shot to long-off. And Hussain, from the last ball of one over, and Ian Saxelby, from the first ball of the next, both obliged him by popping up return catches.

Worcestershire hat-trick hero Ian Fisher told BBC Hereford and Worcester:

"As a performance all round, we can still improve.

"We can be a little bit more polished in the field as we put down a couple of chances.

"We will be somewhere near, but it was a really good start in this competition."

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