Friday, June 24th, 2022


Worcestershire Rapids were outplayed in all departments and went down by 144 runs to Birmingham Bears in a Vitality Blast encounter under lights at Edgbaston.

A brilliant unbeaten century from Adam Hose enabled the Bears to total 228-8 in their 20 overs.

Adam Finch returned his T20 best figures of 3-38 for the Rapids, and there were two wickets in the first over of the evening from Mitchell Stanley.

But the Rapids conceded 17 wides and were also guilty of several uncharacteristic fielding errors.

When they batted, only Colin Munro (33) offered any resistance, and the Rapids were bowled out for 84 in 15.3 overs.

In terms of runs, it was the Rapids’ heaviest ever defeat in T20 cricket, and they will be hoping that the return of red ball cricket against Glamorgan on Sunday brings a change in fortunes.

The Rapids made two changes from the side in action 24 hours earlier against Yorkshire Vikings at New Road.

Captain Moeen Ali returned from England duty, and Finch made his first Blast appearance of 2022, in place of Jake Libby and Josh Baker.

Moeen won the toss against his former county and put the Bears into bat in the Sky Sports televised match – and saw youngster Stanley make an explosive start with the new ball.

He dismissed Alex Davies (0) with his second legitimate delivery, a fine delivery which pitched on middle and off with a bit of away swing and bowled the right-hander.

Stanley made it two wickets in two balls as the in-form Sam Hain (0) came down the pitch and tried to play an expansive drive and edged to Moeen at slip.

Ed Pollock was brought into second slip, and Adam Hose got off the mark with an edge for four against Stanley, which flew over the head of the former Warwickshire player.

Runs flowed with the aid of very short boundaries on either side of the wicket.

But Moeen struck when he came into the attack, and Rob Yates (20) went to cut a quicker ball and was caught behind by Gareth Roderick.

Ed Barnard bowled an excellent opening over in which he conceded only four runs off the bat as the 100 came up in 8.3 overs.

Finch ended a stand of 91 between Adam Hose and Dan Mousley (53) when the latter went for a reverse paddle shot and spooned a catch to Kashif Ali at backward point.

Finch made another breakthrough when Munro made good ground from long on to dismiss Chris Benjamin (10).

He became the second Rapids bowler on the evening to take two wickets in two balls as he knocked back the middle stump of Bears captain Carlos Brathwaite (0) at 171-6 in the 15th over.

Munro took another excellent low catch in the long on region to account for Jake Lintott (6) after Pat Brown returned to the attack.

Hose completed a 51 ball 100 with three sixes and 12 fours.

Brown delivered the final over, and Olly Stone (3) tried a ramp shot and was caught behind.

When the Rapids batted, Pollock (4) was caught at mid on in the first over from Stone, and then Brett D’Oliveira (0) guided a delivery from Craig Miles to first slip.

Munro cut Mousley for four, and a ramp shot against Miles also brought the New Zealander a boundary.

But Moeen (4) departed when he hit Mousley straight to deep mid-wicket to leave the Rapids on 19-3 in the fifth over.

Munro slapped Stone over cover for four as the Rapids ended the powerplay on 31-3.

The left-hander continued to blaze away with two boundaries in Brathwaite’s first over, but on 33, he went to cut Danny Briggs and was caught behind to effectively end their hopes.

Bravo was promoted up the order but fell first ball to Briggs at long off, Kashif Ali (17) went lbw to Briggs, Ed Barnard (2) top-edged Lintott and was caught around the corner.

Roderick (7) became Briggs fourth victim when holing out to long on, Finch (6) was bowled by the returning Stone, and last man Stanley (7) sliced Lintott to short third man.