NEW Zealand proved too strong for Worcestershire in the T20 tour match at New Road as they cruised to a seven-wicket victory. 

Worcestershire rookie Olly Cox smashed a 31-ball half-century and went on to make 63 with one six and 11 fours but the hosts could only manage 124 from 19 overs.

But the international quality from the likes of Kyle Jamieson (3-28), Rachin Ravindra (3-15) and Lockie Ferguson (3-11) was evident as the Black Caps' bowlers did their job.

Ahead of their T20 series with England, New Zealand then wrapped up the win with 8 overs still remaining. But there was some encouragement for Academy member Harry Darley, who picked up two of the three wickets to fall as New Zealand chased down a 125 target to win by seven wickets.

But the young Rapids side, who rested a number of their big hitters for the crucial Metro Bank One Day Cup quarter-final with Hampshire on Sunday, will have taken some encouragement from playing such a high-quality, experienced outfit in New Zealand. 

"It would have been nice to put in a slightly better performance. I think the boys will be disappointed to have scored just over 120," said head coach Alan Richardson.

"But there were a couple of stand-outs. Olly Cox played fantastically well, struck the ball as well as we know he can do, so that was fantastic for him.

"Harry Darley acquitted himself really well. It was obviously going to be difficult to defend that score so for him to get a couple of overs in, and pick up as couple of wickets, experience the tempo of the game, will be great for him.

"The intensity of the game would have been very different to what those guys have experienced before and that experience will be invaluable moving forward.

"For Olly and Harry, their first taste of this kind of cricket, it would have been huge for them, and then the added bonus of performing pretty well on that stage.

"It should fill them with a lot of confidence but also give them some idea of the standard of cricket that they want to play at.

"There were some very good cricketers in that New Zealand side and so to taste that will be fantastic for them."