Sunday, April 30th, 2017

It’s Four Wins Out Of Four As Rapids Overcome Foxes

It’s Four Wins Out Of Four As Rapids Overcome Foxes

Worcestershire maintained their 100 per cent start to the season in all competitions as the Rapids overcame Leicestershire Foxes by 42 runs in a high scoring Royal London One-Day clash at the Fischer County Ground.

The Rapids amassed their highest ever score against first class opposition in 50 over cricket in scoring 361-8 (see separate feature).

Moeen Ali top-scored with 90 in the final appearance of his current spell with the County before resuming England duties.

But there were important contributions down the order and, in the final context of the game, a vital 46 off the final 3.2 overs from John Hastings and Ed Barnard.

Then skipper Joe Leach (4-66) and Jack Shantry (3-64) got amongst the wickets but it was spinner Brett D'Oliveira who bowled a crucial tight spell in the context of such a free-scoring contest.

Worcestershire also turned in another superb fielding performance with Ben Cox's sharp thinking behind the stumps leading to one dismissal and Barnard and Ross Whiteley in particular pulling off brilliant catches in the deep.

It means they have won their opening two matches in the Specsavers County Championship and the One-Day Cup and everyone is making a contribution to what so far has been an excellent team effort.

Worcestershire were put into bat and were aided by an initial flurry of wides from the new ball attack of Zak Chappell and Gavin Griffiths.

It led to an early introduction into the attack for spinner Rob Sayer and Moeen Ali collected boundaries from his first three deliveries.

The 29-year-old had a let off on 22 when keeper Lewis Hill dived to his right but could not hold onto an edge against Griffith with the total 44 in the fifth over.

But with one run added Worcestershire lost their first wicket with Tom Kohler-Cadmore (16) run out.

Moeen turned Chappell on the leg side, called Kohler-Cadmore through for a single but he dived in vain as the bowler kicked the ball onto the stumps in his follow through.

New batsman Tom Fell struck Rob Sayer over long on for six and added 87 in 15 overs with Moeen.

But on 39 he was comfortably stumped by Hill after coming down the wicket to Sykes with the total 132-2 in the 21st over.

Joe Clarke looked in good touch and four boundaries in an over from Cameron Delport brought up the 200 in the 31st over but then Worcestershire lost three wickets in two overs.

Clarke, after putting on 68 in 10 overs with Moeen, was run out for 42.

Moeen squeezed out a yorker from Tom Wells and made a couple of strides forward before stopping in his tracks.

But Clarke was unable to get back into his ground at the non striker's end and was run out by Delport's direct hit from square leg.

Then in the next over Moeen drove at Chappell and edged through to Hill when 10 short of his hundred. He faced just 87 deliveries and hit two sixes and 12 fours.

Worcestershire were then 209-4 in the 33rd over with two new batsmen at the crease in D'Oliveira and Cox.

They gradually increased the tempo with Cox taking toll of Chappell with three successive boundaries.

The momentum was temporarily checked with three wickets falling in the space of two overs.

D'Oliveira, having made 33 off 30 balls, holed out to Aadil Ali on the long off boundary off Sykes after adding 73 in 10.3 overs with Cox.

Cox departed to the next delivery from Sykes for 44 from 37 deliveries after sweeping and being bowled.

In the next over Leach (1) tried to pull Griffiths and spooned a catch up on the off side at 285-7.

Whiteley made a quickfire 21 before he sliced a Sayer delivery into the hands of deep point.

Then Hastings and Barnard took full toll of the home attack in the final few overs. The pair added 46 from the final 3.2 overs – including 20 from the final six balls by Wells.

Hastings finished unbeaten on 28 from 15 deliveries and Barnard 25 not out of just ten.

Delport showed positive early intent when the Foxes launched their reply but then smart thinking by Cox led to his downfall.

A delivery from Leach went through to Cox who was standing back but he spotted Delport was just out of his crease and his under-arm throw hit the stumps.

Delport was officially given out as stumped for 18 as he was not attempting a run and it earned Leach a wicket with 30 on the board.

The home side continued to go for their strokes with Mark Cosgrove leading their run chase.

But wickets fell steadily and Mark Pettini was next to go after making 36 off 33 balls and adding 51 in six overs with Cosgrove.

He only succeeded in nicking a Leach delivery through to Cox who held the chance in front of first slip.

Barnard then pulled off an excellent running catch after Ned Eckersley (14) slashed a Jack Shantry delivery into the off side at 116-3.

Cosgrove went to his half century off 33 balls with seven fours and a six.

But Shantry brought about his downfall on 67 (45 balls, nine fours and one six) when holding onto an excellent one-handed reflex return catch.

It became 177-5 in the 25th over as Hill (27) nicked Hastings to Kohler-Cadmore at slip.

Wells and Aadil Ali responded with a partnership of 80 in 14.2 overs to keep the Foxes hopes alive.

Leach made the breakthrough with his third wicket as Wells (34) could only hit a full toss to Kohler-Cadmore at long off.

D'Oliveira bowled an excellent spell of 10 overs for just 50 runs in the context of such a high scoring match.

But Aadil Ali continued to score freely and reached a run a ball half century before the last four wickets went down for 16 runs.

Rob Sayer (25) hit Shantry to Kohler-Cadmore at long off and the throw from the Worcestershire batsman then accounted for Chappell (1).

He was run out after Ali clipped Hastings through mid wicket and called Chappell for a risky second run.

Whiteley then excelled with a head high catch at deep backward square after Skykes (2) scooped away a Leach full toss.

Ali's fine knock ended on 88 when, with the run rate escalating, he worked Hastings through the on side and was short of his ground going for a second run after an excellent return by Whiteley.