FOR THE second time in three days, Yorkshire needed to make their record run-chase to win a one-day match.
On Wednesday, they knocked off 336 to beat Durham at Headingley.
This time, however, there was no Jonny Bairstow, who hit 174 of those off his own bat.
Without Bairstow, who was on England duty against Ireland in Bristol, Yorkshire were unable to chase down 343 at New Road to make it four wins out of four in the Royal London Cup.
They made a decent fist of it, Peter Handscomb striking a one-day best 88 out of 291, but ultimately they gave themselves too much to do against opponents who leapfrogged them to go top of the North Group.
After being sent into bat in glorious sunshine, Worcestershire scored 342 in 48.5 overs. It was the third-highest total that Yorkshire have conceded in one-day cricket, behind Surrey’s 375-4 at Scarborough in 1994 and Somerset’s 345-4 at Taunton in 2005.
Ultimately Yorkshire gave themselves too much to do against opponents who leapfrogged them to go top of the North Group.Chris Waters
It was also Worcestershire’s highest one-day total at New Road against a first-class county, beating the 316-5 they made against Gloucestershire in 2008.
And it was founded on a powerful innings from Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who led the way with a superb 118.
Kohler-Cadmore and Daryl Mitchell added 135 for the first wicket inside 22 overs to give their side a flying start.
On a pitch offering good pace and carry, they hit confidently through the line and several times advanced to the quicker bowlers.
Kohler-Cadmore, a strapping 22-year-old who previously played for Yorkshire’s age-group teams, played strongly down the ground, while both openers showed a taste for the short square boundary towards the Cathedral side.
Mitchell won the race to a half-century, which he reached from 42 balls with five fours and a pulled six off Tim Bresnan towards the Premier Inn that overlooks the ground, while Kohler-Cadmore followed him to the milestone from 62 deliveries with four fours and two off-sides sixes off Azeem Rafiq, and another off-side maximum off Steve Patterson.
Without their England bowlers, Yorkshire naturally lacked a little X-factor.
It needed a mistake from Mitchell to give them their first wicket and break the opening stand three short of Worcestershire’s record against Yorkshire in one-day cricket – 138 by Tim Curtis and Ian Botham at Scarborough in 1989.
Mitchell had 69 to his name when he skied Bresnan to deep mid-wicket, where Jack Leaning took the catch.
But Kohler-Cadmore went onwards and upwards, smashing Matthew Fisher over long-off and out of the ground over The Basil D’Oliveira Stand for his fourth maximum.
After Tom Fell pulled Fisher hard to mid-wicket, a fifth six followed when Kohler-Cadmore struck Waite back over his head.
Waite, the 21-year-old seam bowling all-rounder, kept his head and bowled Joe Clarke to leave Worcestershire 206-3 in the 33rd.
Kohler-Cadmore went to his second one-day hundred from 102 balls but perished as his side slipped from 252-3 to 270-7, which threatened to undo all their good work.
Brett D’Oliveira steered Fisher to wicketkeeper Handscomb, who was tidy behind the stumps in Bairstow’s absence.
Kohler-Cadmore sent Patterson into the hands of Lyth at deep mid-wicket, Ross Whiteley was bowled first ball by Patterson, and Ben Cox lifted Patterson out to the mid-wicket boundary, where Lyth palmed the ball up as his momentum took him over the rope and then caught it on the rebound.
It needed a sparkling stand between Joe Leach (41) and John Hastings (33) to reassert the host’s authority, the pair adding 67 in 35 balls.
Leach struck seven fours before being bowled by Waite, the first of three wickets in what proved to be the final over of the innings.
Hastings flat-batted Waite to Will Rhodes on the straight boundary, the same combination accounting for Ed Barnard at long-on.
Yorkshire’s reply got off to even more of a fast start as Adam Lyth and Alex Lees added 70 inside 10 overs before Lees slashed Hastings to the wicketkeeper.
Lyth hammered Hastings for six over mid-wicket and another over cover on his way to a 38-ball half-century, beautifully compiled.
But after Rhodes sliced Hastings to point, Lyth went lbw to Leach for 59 as Yorkshire fell to 97-3 in the 15th.
Gary Ballance was then run-out following a mix-up with Handscomb, Jack Leaning was caught-and-bowled by Mitchell, who then had Bresnan taken at mid-wicket as the visitors slipped to 204-6 in the 32nd.
Mitchell took a key third wicket when Waite picked out cover, and, when Handscomb was bowled by Barnard in the 41st over, Yorkshire were 241-8 and the game was up.
Azeem Rafiq was run-out and Steve Patterson bowled, Fisher striking two sixes en route to a career-best, unbeaten 36.
Although defeat was a blow to Yorkshire, they remain well on course for the knockout stages of the competition.
They will have their England players back for the games at Northants on Wednesday and Warwickshire tomorrow week.