YORKSHIRE Phoenix turned in another thoroughly businesslike performance to beat Worcestershire Royals by six wickets at New Road on Sunday and move into one of the three promotion spots in Division Two of the totesport League.

It was Yorkshire's fifth victory in as many away matches in all competitions and it sets them up perfectly for Wednesday's Roses showdown at Old Trafford in the quarter-finals of the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy.

On a glorious day, Yorkshire had to work hard on a slow pitch which made run-scoring difficult but Worcestershire's total of 189 all out after deciding to bat first never looked sufficient to make Phoenix sweat too much and they had three overs in hand when the winning runs were hit.

Yorkshire were troubled early on by a 51 opening stand in 11 overs between Vikram Solanki and Stephen Peters, but once Peters had fallen lbw to Chris Silverwood and Andy Bichel had his off-stump rattled before scoring by a beauty from Tim Bresnan, the ball was very much in Yorkshire's court.

The only really threatening innings came from Solanki who had made 52 with ten boundaries when Darren Lehmann came on and immediately had the opener drilling back a return catch.

Lehmann had to go off in the middle of his spell for repairs to a damaged little finger but he was as effective as ever on his return and he and his spin 'twin' Richard Dawson both created so much pressure that they finished with the identical figures of 2-30 from their nine overs.

Anthony McGrath, called up by England for the one-day triangular series, gave an excellent account of himself by taking two for 35 while showing clever variations with his pace.

Once Solanki had gone it was left to Graeme Hick to try to build a respectable Worcestershire innings but he was kept on a tight rein by all of the Yorkshire bowlers and by the time he was run out responding to Steve Rhodes' call for a single he had faced 72 balls for his 42 which contained only two boundaries.

Bichel and Matt Mason got the ball to move around in the humid conditions at the start of Yorkshire's reply and with both Matthew Wood and Michael Lumb falling lbw to the Australian with only 21 scored, Yorkshire were in some trouble.

But they gradually got out of their difficulties with a sensible third wicket stand of 104 in 26 overs between captain Craig White and Phil Jaques, White laying down anchor while Jaques kept the score ticking over nicely.

Jaques had seven boundaries in his half-century which came off 52 balls and although White only pierced the field five times in his 41 they were shots of the highest order and all to different parts of the ground.

It looked as if the pair could go on to win the game together until White played across a ball from Andrew Hall to become the third consecutive lbw victim of the innings.

Jaques, partnered by McGrath, moved on to 62 but then tried to dash a quick single for McGrath and was run out by David Leatherdale to make Yorkshire 141-4. It was a sad way for Jaques to go but he had already had one or two escapes caused by wanting to go for risky runs.

If Lehmann's finger was bothering him it did not show as he and McGrath calmly took Yorkshire to their target with an unbroken stand of 49, McGrath finishing a good all-round performance with 26 and Lehmann 27.

Updated: 11:04 Monday, June 14, 2004