Head Coach Alex Gidman says the “exceptional” quality of the Worcestershire Rapids fielding in the opening two games of the Vitality Blast is a product of pride in their performance and sheer hard work.
The Rapids have produced near-flawless performances in the field against Notts Outlaws and Northamptonshire Steelbacks with their ground fielding and a series of stunning catches.
It has been a return to the outstanding displays evident in those departments when the Rapids won the trophy in 2018 and were runners-up in 2019.
Gidman said: “I think we field exceptionally well. They are a very athletic group of players, and they enjoy their fielding.’’
“It is great to watch when they are fielding like at Northampton. I’ve always believed that it is one of the most entertaining parts of the game to watch and one of the most enjoyable parts of the game to be a part of as a collective.
“The lads are constantly working at their game in all areas, and we constantly work on the basics of fielding.”
D’Oliveira held onto a fierce cut from Richard Levi at point from the first ball of the Steelbacks innings, and then Whiteley dived full length to cling onto a chance offered by Ricardo Vasconcelos in the third over.
Gidman said: “To get two amazing catches so early in the innings, not only is it taking the wickets, it is setting the tone for the rest of the group to feed off.
“Wickets in the powerplay are crucial, and sometimes it takes that bit of brilliance from the fielders to contribute to that.”
Lancashire have won their opening two matches with the Rapids one point behind in second spot.
Gidman said: “We are fully aware that every team in our group is strong and Lancashire are always a tough opponent.’’
The Worcestershire squad is unchanged and will consist of the 11 players in action against the Steelbacks plus Daryl Mitchell, Dillon Pennington and Tom Fell.