Friday, June 25th, 2021


Worcestershire Rapids will check on the fitness of captain Ben Cox as they launch the second half of their Vitality Blast campaign against Durham at New Road on Friday evening with all to play for in the battle for a top-four spot (5.30pm start).

The wicket-keeper batsman suffered a blow on the foot when batting against Yorkshire Vikings paceman Lockie Ferguson at Headingley on Wednesday, although he scored a T20 career-best 61 not out.

Head Coach Alex Gidman confirmed that Cox would have a late fitness test with Alex Milton on stand-by to deputise as part of the 14 strong squad.

The Rapids are looking to build on an improved performance against the Vikings in which they were edged out by 12 runs in a high-scoring game after the ten wicket defeat against Notts Outlaws the previous evening.

They will be looking to repeat the form and momentum which lifted them to the top of the table after the first trio of matches.

Gidman said: “It’s been a tough week so far in terms of results. We know it wasn’t a good enough performance on Tuesday, but on Wednesday night, we showed a lot of character, particularly with the ball in the first ten overs, and to get as close as we did with the bat.

“It was a terrific effort, and we just lost our way for ten overs which cost us. We performed a lot better and are probably just that 10 per cent more away from getting a win, and then hopefully trying to put a little run together ourselves.

“We know this is going to be a tough league this year but, thanks to the excellent start we had, we’ve still got a realistic chance of pushing for a top-four place.

“The two successful campaigns we had in 2018 and 2019, we had blips in those runs as well. But we know what it takes to turn it around, and there was a lot more really good cricket in the Yorkshire game, and lots of aspects that the players can take some confidence from.”

Pennington picked up four wickets for no runs in his initial spell against the Vikings as he again confirmed his potential.

Gidman said: “Dillon is undoubtedly improving and improving quickly at the moment, and he is a focused young man who desperately wants to do well.

“He is a very strong, fit athletic young man with a great attitude, and those attributes combined mean he is doing well for us at the moment and is keen to continue that for the rest of the summer.”