Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Bumpy: Positive Signs Of Rapids Shaking Off Rustiness In T20 Blast

Bumpy: Positive Signs Of Rapids Shaking Off Rustiness In T20 Blast

Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes said there are positive signs of Worcestershire Rapids overcoming early rustiness in the NatWest T20 Blast for the remainder of the competition.

The Rapids suffered a second defeat when they were beaten by five wickets by Leicestershire Foxes at New Road yesterday evening.

Unlike the majority of other sides fully focused on T20 cricket for the past week, Worcestershire had to make a quickfire switch from playing County Championship cricket against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

But Rhodes knows it is a long campaign and that the Rapids can be a force to be reckoned if and when they start firing on all cylinders.

Rhodes said: "The result was disappointing but there were some real positives about the way we played that game.

"No-one wants to start with two losses in the competition and we seem to have started a little bit slow and rusty.

"But against Leicestershire I could see some good signs.

"Ben Cox played beautifully well. Again the total, 148, people might say that was short but we felt like last week that if we bowled and fielded well, we'd got a great chance with that score.

"The only possible thing that let us down in that fielding display was probably the seam bowlers didn't quite do themselves justice.

"I'm not too fazed by the two defeats, it's a long campaign and I can see us getting a little bit better as we go along which would be exciting."

The Rapids hauled themselves back into contention after Luke Ronchi and Cameron Bancroft had given the Foxes a flying start to the extent that 40 runs were still needed off the last five overs.

Rhodes said: "If you look at that last five overs, 40 runs needed, five wickets down, lose a wicket then, suddenly we have a couple of tight overs, lose another wicket, that's the way those endings can work.

"Credit to Ackerman who saw it through and Tom Wells played a good innings. He is a Ross Whiteley type who can hit the ball out of the park.

"Of course, we'd like to get a few more runs but you can win with those totals although you don't have a cushion and you need to bowl really well.

"I thought we fielded quite well and Mitch Santner bowled well, Daryl Mitchell bowled well and put the squeeze on so there are some good signs and that game too-ed and fro-ed.

"We nearly did it. We know we've got to improve, do a little bit better but like I say, a couple of rusty games and let's hope we can really start to hit our straps which, if we do, we've got a really good T20 side."

The Rapids were deprived the services of experienced paceman Jack Shantry for the latter stages of the game after he was struck on the ankle when bowling by a return drive from Ronchi.

He left the field immediately and Ed Barnard completed his over.

Rhodes said: "His ankle swoll up and he went to get a precautionary x-ray but we don't anticipate a problem there."

"We will have a look at that and give out some information when we know anything."