Wednesday, May 25th, 2022


Jack Haynes continued his superb start to the season, but Worcestershire Rapids went down by seven wickets in their opening Vitality Blast encounter against Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley.

Worcestershire Rapids vice-captain, Ben Cox, won the toss and elected to bat, and a sparkling knock from Haynes meant the score stood at 123-2 with one ball remaining of the 12th over.

It was a continuation of the magnificent form Haynes has been showing in the LV=Insurance County Championship with three centuries in three games.

But, after his dismissal, the innings did not sustain the same momentum during the final eight overs and closed on 172-9 and, in that period, only two fours and one six were hit.

The Rapids were still well in contention after a wicket apiece for Brett D’Oliveira and Charlie Morris, who both bowled excellent spells, and Ed Barnard left the total on 88-3 in the 11th over.

But they were then unable to contain the clean hitting of Harry Brook (60 not out) who, with support from England Test captain Joe Root (35 not out), saw the home side to victory with 11 balls to spare.

Ed Pollock, Gareth Roderick, and Josh Baker were all making their first Blast appearances for the Rapids.

Pollock forced Pakistan pace bowler Haris Rauf for the first boundary of the innings backward of point.

The left-hander added a single before he went for a hit down the ground and was bowled by spinner Dom Bess. 

Haynes immediately looked in good touch, cutting Rauf for four and then striking

Bess over wide long off for the first six of the evening.

D’Oliveira greeted Jordan Thompson’s first delivery with a maximum over the mid wicket boundary and struck the next two balls for four.

A straight six from Worcestershire’s Club captain off the final ball brought up the Rapids 50 and meant the over cost 22 runs.

Haynes then hit Root’s first ball over the long off boundary – a shot repeated by D’Oliveira with the same result.

A partnership of 63 was ended with the final ball of the powerplay when D’Oliveira, having made 32 off 16 balls, holed out to backward point off Root.

Jake Libby joined forces with Haynes and the pair were confronted with leg spin from both ends through Shadab Khan and Adil Rashid.

Haynes smashed Rashid for another huge six over long off as the 100 came up in 9.4 overs.

Two more blows overs the ropes off Khan enabled Haynes to complete a superb 27 ball half-century.

Haynes had raced onto 61 from 33 balls before he was caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary off Matthew Revis at 123-3 off 12 overs.

Boundaries became harder to come by and Cox (11) was caught at long on when Thompson returned to the attack.

In the same over Libby, having made 25 off 27 balls, made room to hit over the top and picked out extra cover.

Roderick was run out from the first ball he faced. His drive off Rauf hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end, and the bowler made no mistake with a direct hit despite having only one stump to aim at.

Barnard made a breezy 18 before bottom edging a Rauf delivery onto his stumps, Josh Baker (3) fell at long on to give Thompson his third wicket and Pat Brown (1) was run out off the final ball attempting a second run. 

When Yorkshire batted, D’Oliveira and Dillon Pennington began with a tight over apiece before opening batters Adam Lyth and Dawid Malan accelerated.

The 50 came up at exactly the same stage as the Rapids, from five overs.

D’Oliveira came back into the attack after the completion of the powerplay and bowled another excellent over in which he conceded just four singles.

It was Barnard who made the breakthrough in dismissing Lyth for 40 with 70 on the board.

He was nearly dismissed when Pollock made a great effort at full stretch to hold onto a catch at deep mid-wicket before parrying the ball for six.

But the very next ball saw Lyth drill Barnard onto the off side, and Roderick held onto the chance at deep extra cover.

D’Oliveira struck in the next over when Tom Kohler-Cadmore (1) aimed a blow on the leg side and was bowled.

The Rapids were 20 runs ahead at the halfway stage with the Vikings 82-2 compared to their 102-2.

Morris returned, and the Rapids 2021 leading Blast wicket-taker accounted for Malan, who tried to clear the long leg side boundary and only found the safe hands of Barnard.

But Brook showed his quality in turning the game back in the Vikings favour with some superb shots, including an uppercut for six and another maximum over cover.

He gave one chance on 49 off Morris before completing a 23-ball half-century and saw the Vikings to victory.

D’Oliveira ended with figures of 3-0-18-1, Morris 3.1-0-20-1 and Barnard 4-0-38-1.