Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Bumpy: Rapids “still Alive And Firing” In The Battle To Reach T20 Blast Quarter-Finals

Bumpy: Rapids “still Alive And Firing” In The Battle To Reach T20 Blast Quarter-Finals

Steve Rhodes insists Worcestershire Rapids are "still alive and firing" in the battle to secure a Natwest T20 Blast quarter-final spot despite Lancashire Lightning ending their proud eight game unbeaten run at New Road.

Director of Cricket Rhodes is looking for the Rapids to bounce back from the "hiccup" suffered against the Red Rose county when they visit Birmingham Bears for Friday evening's derby clash (6.30 start).

Worcestershire made a brave attempt to chase Lancashire's 229-4 and finished on 179-7 after good knocks from skipper Daryl Mitchell, Richard Oliver and Colin Munro.

Rhodes said: "We've had a little bit of a hiccup. We will try and take the positives out of it because it is so important after the run we've had that we just get back on the right track.

"Hopefully that will mean we play well down at Birmingham Bears on Friday.

"We struggled to be able to play today because they turned up and played really good cricket.

"Would we have taken this position with three games to go? Yes, we are alive and firing and we knew that we were going to have a hiccup along the way.

"We weren't going to go through the group unbeaten, that's for sure.

"We lost the first two games and that hurt us but we put together a magnificent run of unbeaten games so this is hopefully just a bit of a hiccup.

"We've got a few more games to go in this competition and we are looking for wins and we will try not to get too down.

"That's a crucial thing. We've played some terrific cricket this year."

Rhodes had no complaints about the outcome as a run of 14 points from a possible 16 was brought to an end.

He said: "We didn't lose it batting, we lost it with the ball and in the field. They came at us quite hard.

"We probably didn't weigh up the conditions, the wicket quick enough, but 230 was a huge score and we had to do our best to go for it from day one.

"I thought the openers played extremely well, Colin Munro played extremely well but the task and the challenge was just too much.

"They are a good side and have got six internationals in that side. They are a good enough side to leave out Usman Khawaja.

"When you put our side against there's, if they play an 'A' game then it's a tough day for us at the office and they certainly played well today.

"They certainly batted with real intent and put us under the cosh and hence the reason we were chasing too many runs to be honest.

"They are a good side.Tom Smith kicked things off really well for them. I thought Jos Buttler's innings was outstanding, a strike rate of 200.

"These are international players. Buttler does this to the best international bowlers in the world so we shouldn't be too down about it."