Saturday, June 24th, 2023


Head Coach Alan Richardson says Worcestershire Rapids will “give ourselves the best chance” to be ready for two crucial games at the climax of the Vitality Blast North Group as they bid to reach the quarter-finals.

The Rapids will be looking to bounce back from the derby defeat against Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston when they return to Blast action next Friday against Durham at New Road.

The Rapids are still in a strong position to reach the quarter-finals after a hectic week in which they have won three of their five matches in the last eight days.

One win from their remaining two T20 matches against Durham or Derbyshire Falcons at the Incora County Ground on July 2 will seal a top four spot.

Richardson said: “We will determine whether we play well again on Friday and we will give ourselves the best chance.

“We’ve got a week for those who don’t play in the red ball game (against Derbyshire) to lick their wounds and get on with it.

“But I think we’ve had a fantastic week bookended by two disappointing results but the performances in the middle were fantastic to win three really good games of cricket.

“I don’t want us as a group to forget that.”

Richardson admitted the Rapids did not fire on all cylinders during the 53 run defeat against the Bears.

He said: “Frustrated and disappointed because I think over the last week we’ve put ourselves in a good position to win this game, and to come in with a great of confidence, and I don’t think we showed that.

“We didn’t show our skill sets as well as we have done over the last three games and the boys are very disappointed.

“We move on and we’ve got two big games left in this tournament and we have to make sure we are ready for that, and nice and confident for those games.

“We were very sloppy in the field to start off with, and the energy levels were down, and we talked about it quite a bit and we thought we had addressed it.

“To start the game well is really important and we didn’t do that and it instantly puts you under pressure.”

Richardson admitted the aggressive approach of the Bears from ball one challenged their bowling plans.

He said: “That’s what the Bears do very well at home, they disrupt teams, continual right-left partnerships and a short boundary edge.

“Most teams when they play want clarity of roles and guys bowling similar overs.

“They really disrupted that, and did that to us last week as well, which is annoying if I’m honest but something we’ve got to deal with.”

The major plus point for the Rapids was another excellent all-round performance by Mitchell Santner.

Richardson said: “With the ball he did fantastically well. He had to bowl some hard overs with the short legside boundary to the right handers.

“He showed an amazing amount of experience and skill to navigate his way through that and picked up a couple of important wickets and kept it tight for us at one end.

“We needed other guys to support him with that to give us something more realistic to chase down.

“When we batted, Brett (D’Oliveira) and Jack (Haynes) got us off to a really good start, the intent that they showed, and Mitch continued that.

“I think it was just the volume of runs we were facing. I think 200 is probably something we could have been more confident about, more realistic, but 228 just made it a little bit harder.

“We had to continue to keep going and we needed someone to come off again with Mitch with the bat and it just wasn’t quite to be again today.”