PRO40 DIVISION ONE, New Road:
Somerset 236-5 beat Worcestershire 152 by 84 runs (Somerset 2pts)
Zander de Bruyn hit a stunning first one-day century for Somerset
Somerset kept their Pro40 title hopes alive with a crushing 84-run win at New Road as they comfortably ended Worcestershire's claims to the crown.
Worcestershire old boy Zander de Bruyn smashed an unbeaten 109 back at New Road as Somerset rattled up 236-5.
But the home side, who could have kept their own title hopes alive with victory, then buckled in reply.
Stephen Moore hit 40 as the home side were bowled out for 152 to leave the title between Sussex and Somerset.
Yeovil-born Worcestershire paceman Gareth Andrew took 3-49 against his old county. But, in what has turned into a nightmare end to a season which cannot end quickly enough for Worcestershire, there were few crumbs of comfort.
Somerset now need Worcestershire to do them a favour by beating Sussex at New Road on the final day of the season on 27 September.
Thanks to de Bruyn's first one-day century for the county, Somerset have now closed to within a point of the leaders.
But, even if Sussex do lose at New Road, Somerset would still have to beat county champions Durham on the final day to win the Pro40 title themselves.
After Somerset had slumped to 52-3, it was a 128-run fourth-wicket stand between De Bruyn and Justin Langer which dominated the visitors innings.
De Bruyn reached his 50 off 55 balls with eight fours before needing Craig Kieswetter as a runner after being hampered by a groin strain.
Langer finally fell for 45, caught at deep mid-wicket by Ian Fisher off a Daryl Mitchell full toss.
But de Bruyn stayed to the end, aided by Arul Suppiah, who topped up Somerset's tally with 28 off 20 balls.
Worcestershire have had some memorable opening partnerships between skipper Vikram Solanki and Surrey-bound Steven Davies this summer.
But their hopes of a solid start to a tough floodlit run chase evaporated when paceman Alfonso Thomas bowled Davies, a century-maker in his previous two Division One innings, and 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.
Peter Trego stepped in to oust Mitchell and top scorer Moore. But hose top score of 40 came off 49 balls with five fours.
But, from 88-6, despite a 44-run stand in eight overs between Andrew (27) and Gareth Batty (21), not even a late floodlight failure could save Steve Rhodes' side from another demoralising defeat.