Sunday, July 25th, 2021


Club Captain Joe Leach and Ed Barnard powered Worcestershire Rapids to a magnificent three-wicket victory with a record-breaking seventh-wicket stand against Kent Spitfires at New Road.

George Munsey’s maiden List A century had enabled Kent to set a demanding 324 target.

But Rapids opener Jack Haynes laid the foundations in reply with a superb 77.

He received excellent support from Tom Fell in laying the platform for Leach’s late assault alongside excellent support from Barnard.

Leach and Barnard came together at 184-6 in the 34th over, and their stand of 134 in 15.2 overs was a new Worcestershire record for the seventh wicket in all List A cricket.

Leach eventually fell in the penultimate over for a superb 88 off 51 balls with seven sixes and five fours when lbw to Matt Milnes.

But youngster Josh Baker sealed a famous victory when hooking the first ball of the final over from Grant Stewart over the keeper to the boundary.

Barnard remained unbeaten on an excellent 39, playing the perfect foil in his 46 ball knock to Leach.

It was the perfect start to the 50 over tournament for the Rapids, and once again, Baker impressed with the ball.

Leach put the Spitfires into bat on a hybrid pitch, and the move quickly paid off.

Spitfires captain Ollie Robinson (13) was caught at cover off Charlie Morris, and Heino Kuhn (19) was run out by Jake Libby’s direct hit from mid-on.

Tawanda Muyeye (22) played back to Baker and was bowled, but Munsey and Harry Finch seized command for Kent.

Harry Finch was initially the more aggressive and reached his half-century from 63 balls – 12 less than Munsey.

Munsey gradually upped the tempo and required only another 33 balls in moving fifty to three figures.

Adam Finch broke the stand when he trapped his namesake lbw for 84 from 79 deliveries with one six and ten fours working to leg.

Munsey’s superb knock came to an end on 108, and he also went lbw attempting a reverse sweep against Barnard. His 113 ball innings contained two sixes and 14 fours.

Stevens hit a quickfire 23, and late order runs from Milnes, and Marcus O’Riordan lifted the final total past 300.

When Worcestershire launched their reply, Haynes drove Stevens for two boundaries, and Dell collected three fours in a Milnes over.

Dell, on 20, was caught at cover off Stevens, but new batsman Fell and Haynes prospered.

Fell reeled off a succession of impressive strokes, and Haynes also looked in good touch, although he had one let off on 23 to Henry Finch off Matt Quinn.

He completed a 51 ball fifty, and Haynes followed him to his half-century from the next delivery, the 61st he had faced.

The second-wicket pair added 94 when Fell was caught behind off Grant Stewart for 57 with two sixes and six fours.

Jake Libby, on 17, fell to a smart catch at backward point off Matt Quinn and Haynes, having made a fine 77, top-edged a catch to backward square leg off James Logan, who played for Worcestershire Seconds earlier this season.

Gareth Roderick (5) and debutant Jacques Banton (1) were dismissed in successive overs, but then came the heroics from Leach and Barnard before Baker had the final say.

It sparked scenes of delight all around New Road from members and spectators who had witnessed nearly 650 runs on a day that will live long in the memory.