Tuesday, June 6th, 2023


Head Coach Alan Richardson is delighted to see Worcestershire Rapids producing consistently high performance levels in the Vitality Blast.

The Rapids triumphed in their opening four matches and still top the North Group after Sunday’s last-over setback against Northamptonshire Steelbacks.

But the level of display, even in that game, was of a quality to keep the Rapids well in contention before Saif Zaib’s superb unbeaten 70 off 35 balls swung the game in the visitors’ favour.

The Rapids will now take on Lancashire Lightning at Blackpool tomorrow (5pm start) and Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley on Friday (6.30pm) in an away doubleheader.

Richardson said: “All I ask is for the players to do what they say they are going to do, which they did, and they put in a performance on Sunday which gave us a real opportunity to win the game, and we didn’t quite get over the line.

“It took a very good knock by Saif to win Northamptonshire the game. He scored at a rate of 200 for 35 balls, played spin really well, and put us under pressure.

“We always look back at our performances and we might not be happy with the result but, in terms of performance, I couldn’t have asked for much more.

“If we look at all five performances we’ve put in, we’ve given ourselves chances to win all the games, and thankfully we’ve got over the line in four of them.

“If we continue to do that, hopefully, those results will keep going, but we know T20 is very volatile and can be unbelievably cruel at times, and everything happens very quickly.

“We just have to keep giving ourselves those chances.

“I think throughout this tournament we are going to win some games that we possibly shouldn’t and likewise lose some we could easily have won as well.

“We have to roll with those, stay nice and even throughout, and as consistent as we can.”

The Rapids will take on the Red Rose and White Rose in the space of 48 hours before the long trip on Saturday to Hove ahead of the LV=Insurance County Championship match the following day.

Richardson said: “Last year we had some really tough scheduling, and this year this is probably the first time we’ve got that, but we are going to a couple of nice venues in Blackpool and Leeds and then off to Hove for the four-dayer.

“We knew that at the start of the season, it hasn’t come as a surprise to us, so hopefully, we will be well equipped to deal with that.”

The Rapids have announced an unchanged 14-strong squad, the 11 players in action on Sunday, plus Matthew Waite, Taylor Cornall and Ben Gibbon.