Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Clarke Looking Forward With Relish To Derby Showdown

Clarke Looking Forward With Relish To Derby Showdown

worcestershire rapids batsman joe clarke says “games like the one this thursday are what you play for” and he is relishing prospect of a royal london one-day cup north group decider with warwickshire at edgbaston.

clarke scored a brilliant hundred in sunday’s win over northamptonshire steelbacks at New Road to leave the fate of the rapids in their own hands.

victory over the rapids local rivals in a game being shown live on sky sports would seal top spot in the north group for the second year running for skipper joe leach’s side and guarantee another home semi-final.

in a group which includes five test ground playing counties, that would represent another superb achievement for the rapids.
clarke said: “games like thursday are what you play for, that chance to finish top of the group against the rivals in a derby is brilliant

“you want to play in games like that and to come out on top and win the group would be really special from this group.

“is there a special rivalry against warwickshire? i think so. it certainly is for myself and when we have played t20s, one-day and championship games in the past, there has always been that little bit extra on it

“with the winners topping the group, and a day-night game live on tv, it will be a special day and hopefully we will come out on top but we have plenty of respect for warwickshire.”

worcestershire have a record in north group matches since the start of 2017 of played 15, won 11, lost 3, tied 1 after previously struggling in the competition.

clarke said: “it is credit to the squad we have got. it is something last year that we wanted to improve in.

“we’d had some poor years in the competition and we changed our culture and mindset towards one-day cricket and it has shown now and is working.

“hopefully we can add another home semi-final for the members and the fans and hopefully go one better.”

worcestershire have posted four 300 plus totals against derbyshire falcons, yorkshire vikings, leicestershire foxes and northamptonshire steelbacks in the north group.

clarke said: “the batting line-up is very dangerous. we bat all the way to leachy (joe leach) at nine. he has got a first class hundred and big contributions in white ball cricket.

“it is frightening. when we come off it is frightening. to have someone like ross whiteley coming in three down is frightening.

“it has been consistent performances from the batting unit and we are really happy with our game.

“should teams fear your line-up? they certainly should. we’ve got someone like tom fell who is missing out and he is an excellent one-day player and cricketer.

“when he is sitting on the side and not able to get in, it just shows the strength of the batting unit with mo (moeen ali) coming back.”