Tuesday, September 15th, 2020


Hamish Rutherford scored his maiden Vitality Blast half century for Worcestershire Rapids as they triumphed by six runs in the Vitality Blast Central Group encounter with Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Northampton.

The left hander had gone close in the previous two games with 46 versus Somerset and 41 off the Birmingham Bears attack.

But he was the top scorer at Wantage Road  with a fine 62 as the Rapids totalled 178-6.

Rapids Captain Ed Barnard then led by example with excellent figures of 2-15 from four overs and there were also tight spells from Daryl Mitchell and Brett D’Oliveira.

Pat Brown then conceded only seven runs in the final over as the Steelbacks closed on 170-7 as the Rapids sealed a second win in the tournament.

Rapids made one change from the side in action against Birmingham Bears with Jack Haynes replacing Riki Wessels in the opening role.

Barnard opted to bat after winning the toss and Rutherford made a positive start with successive boundaries in the opening over from spinner Josh Cobb.

He rocked back to cut him for four and then lofted him over mid-off to the boundary in an over costing 10 runs.

The New Zealand opener then smashed Nathan Buck over the square leg boundary and out of Wantage Road in a massive hit.

Haynes drilled the same bowler over mod off for his first four and pulled him straight down the ground to the boundary in the same over.

The 50 stand came up in just 4.4 overs in an excellent display of controlled hitting.

Rutherford and Haynes extended their partnership to 58 before the latter on 28 from 19 balls went back to Ben Sanderson and picked out Paul Stirling at cover.

Jake Libby joined Rutherford and the runs continued to flow with the opener completing a fine half century off 30 balls with three sixes and four fours.

The Rapids laid the foundations for a sizeable total in reaching 92-1 by the half-way stage.

Libby tried to hit spinner Saif Zaib back down the ground but fell to a sharp return catch after making 16.

The Rapids century came up in exactly 11 overs.

Rutherford continued to take toll of the Steelbacks attack but after making 62 off 37 balls he turned Buck around the corner with plenty of power and was caught on the legside boundary.

His runs came from just 37 deliveries with three sixes and six fours.

The Steelbacks slow left armer Graeme White bowled four tidy overs for 29 runs.

Ben Cox (21 off 17 balls) departed to a low catch by Sanderson running in from the mid wicket boundary off Brandon Glover.

D’Oliveira made a breezy 24 from 17 deliveries before he was leg before to a low Sanderson yorker and Barnard (1) was caught at mid off from a Glover full toss.

After the Steelbacks scored 32 off the first two overs of their reply, Paul Stirling (5) was undone by a ball from Charlie Morris which hurried onto him and his attempted pull only found Daryl Mitchell at mid wicket.

Josh Cobb (13) sliced Barnard to Dillon Pennington at backward point.

Richard Levi completed a 27 ball half century but without addition to his score slashed Barnard into the safe hands of D’Oliveira at point.

The Rapids continued to chip away and Ricardo Vasconcelos (8) perished in the deep on the on side to Pat Brown off the bowling of Mitchell.

Alex Wakely (7) went for a reverse sweep and was bowled by D’Oliveira.

Morris returned to the attack and calmly held a skier by Zaib (24) off his own bowling in the penultimate over.

Adam Rossington (45) posed the main threat to the Rapids but when he was run out attempting two in the final over from Pat Brown the Rapids were home and dry.