Tuesday, August 1st, 2023


Head Coach Alan Richardson was delighted with Worcestershire Rapids performance as they launched their Metro Bank One Day Cup campaign with victory over Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside.

Kashif Ali and Ben Cox both hit fifties in the Rapids total of 318-9 and then spinners Josh Baker and Brett D’Oliveira shared six wickets as Durham were dismissed for 276.

It was the ideal start to the tournament ahead of the opening home game against Glamorgan on Friday (11am start). Advanced tickets are just £10 for adults and £1 for juniors and can be bought by clicking here.

Richardson said: “The performance was a strong one. At the start of the tournament, we’ve gone straight from a red ball block of games, so to try and get that tempo was always going to be quite difficult, but I think we did it really well.

“Brett (D’Oliveira) and Azhar (Ali) started us off at a nice pace to give us that impetus and we were reasonably pleased with the total although it was a good wicket.

“I thought Kashif played exceptionally well  and played with real purpose and intent and then Ben at the end did exceptionally well to get us to where we finished.

“I thought we were going to be a little bit lighter than that final total with five overs to go but, alongside Dillon (Pennington) and Ben Gibbon who played nicely, I thought Coxy did fantastically well and showed what a class operator he is.

“He hasn’t played that much since the end of the T20 tournament, so that is always a bit of a challenge, and he gave himself a little bit of time, probably didn’t get his sweeps away at the start which are bankers for him.

“But he got the pace of it right at the end, he worked out the wicket, and he knows his scoring areas so well. It was a vital innings at the end to get us to a competitive total.”

Baker and D’Oliveira finished with combined figures of 6-108 from 20 overs while Matthew Waite backed them up with some tight overs in the middle of the innings.

Richardson said: “They did brilliantly. Durham started their innings really well, played some strong shots, and Graham Clark put us under a lot of pressure.

“I don’t think we bowled particularly badly but he showed what a good pitch it was, that you could hit through the line of the ball, and hit a lot of boundaries.

“Josh (Baker) hasn’t played that much white ball cricket so this is a real opportunity for him.

“Last year he pretty much missed all of the tournament and he bowled beautifully and got a couple of really big wickets for us and then Brett showed his class and his experience alongside Matthew Waite in that middle.

“Matthew, with Josh and Brett, did well and put the Durham batters under a lot of pressure. We kept taking wickets and we weren’t going for many runs. It was really pleasing throughout.”

D’Oliveira has handed over the captaincy reins to Jake Libby for the One Day Cup.

Richardson said: “Brett said he was really looking forward to it. He said I can actually concentrate on just watching the ball when I bat, and my fielding and my bowling.

“We do have the odd conversation with Brett, where we think he could bowl a little bit more at times, but I thought Jake managed him very well and he bowled superbly.

“He is a very good operator when it comes to white ball bowling as well and it was invaluable that he strung together those 10 overs and took three big wickets for us and stemmed the run rate.”