Friday, July 14th, 2017

Cox Again Shines With Bat As Rapids Suffer T20 Blast Setback

Cox Again Shines With Bat As Rapids Suffer T20 Blast Setback

Worcestershire Rapids went down by five wickets to Leicestershire Foxes in their second NatWest T20 Blast encounter of the campaign at New Road this evening.

Ben Cox continued his excellent form with the bat by top-scoring with a half century after the Rapids had elected to bat.

It followed on from his career best 124 in the Specsavers County Championship clash with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Cox's knock was the mainstay of the Rapids 148-8 on the same wicket as was used for last Friday's clash with Birmingham Bears with Clint McKay returning 5-11 from four overs – the best figures by a Leicestershire bowler in T20 cricket.

The Rapids then did well to pull back a flying start to the Foxes innings by Luke Ronchi and Cameron Delport.

The spin pair of Mitchell Santner and Brett D'Oliveira plus the medium pacers of Daryl Mitchell bowled a combined number of 11 overs and returned 5-75.

The Foxes still needed 40 off the final five overs with five wickets in hand but Colin Ackerman's unbeaten 47 saw them to victory with nine balls to spare.

The Rapids lost two wickets inside the opening two overs from McKay.

Joe Clarke (0), who was again promoted to open, attempted a cut and was caught at first slip and then D'Oliveira (2) nicked through to keeper Luke Ronchi.

Cox again looked in good form and struck three fours and a six in Gavin Griffiths second over.

The County keeper and Mitchell added 56 in seven overs and in the process the latter became Worcestershire's highest ever run-scorer in T20 cricket, surpassing the 1,890 total of England's Moeen Ali.

But then the opener on 31 swept Cameron Delport into the hands of short fine leg and skipper Joe Leach failed to trouble the scorers before being yorked by Griffiths.

Cox went to his half century off 35 balls with five fours and a six but lofted the next delivery from Callum Parkinson to long on.

McKay returned to the firing line and struck twice in two balls with Ross Whiteley (1) holing out to long off and Mitchell Santner (21) pouched on the mid wicket boundary.

The 34-year-old completed his nap hand in the final over as Ed Barnard (15) also fell in the deep to leave John Hastings unbeaten on 16 from just nine balls.

When Leicestershire replied, New Zealand keeper Ronchi and delport showed immediate aggressive intent against the Rapids seamers.

Santner broke the stand on 41 by bowling Delport (23) and the first ball from Mitchell accounted for Ronchi (27) in the same manner at 61-2 in the seventh over.

D'Oliveira's introduction into the attack bore instant reward with Foxes skipper Mark Cosgrove (11) and Ned Eckersley (0) falling at long on and cover respectively.

There was still work to do for the visitors when Lewis Hill (9) was stumped to give Santner a second success and 40 were required from the final five overs.

But Ackerman and Tom Wells (31 not out) ensured there were no more alarms for the Foxes.