Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Joe Hopes Rapids Can “kick On” In White Ball Cricket

Joe Hopes Rapids Can “kick On” In White Ball Cricket

Skipper Joe Leach wants Worcestershire Rapids to use recent quarter-final appearances in the knockout competitions as "a stepping stone to really kick on" in white ball cricket.

The County reached the last eight of the NatWest T20 Blast in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Then last summer there was a breakthrough spot in the quarter-finals of the Royal London One-Day Cup.

A series of notable scalps were claimed including away wins over Yorkshire Vikings, Durham Jets and Notts Outlaws and a home success over Lancashire Lightning.

The Rapids – who will have Moeen Ali available for their first three matches – launch the 2017 One-Day Cup campaign on Thursday against the Outlaws side at New Road.

Leach said: "I've said all along that I think we are a good side in this competition. I really do think that and I think we are just starting to come to terms with how to play.

"If the game plan comes off and we execute it well, we've got match winners from one to eleven.

"Our batting line-up is very strong – and strong in depth as well as ability.

"Then obviously with the likes of John Hastings plus Moeen available for the first three games, that gives us an international edge we possibly haven't had in our one-day bowling over the past few years."

Leach added: "Getting to the quarter-final last year was progression.

"We've had three or four quarter-finals in the T20 Blast and 50 over competitions in recent seasons.

"Let's use that as a stepping stone to be really kicking on and challenging in these white ball competitions."

Leach has been delighted with Worcestershire's start to the campaign in the Specsavers County Championship after the victories over Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium and Northamptonshire at New Road.

He said: "We spoke at the start of the season about having a a good start because last year we played good cricket but didn't get the points on the board so to make sure we've got the two wins, that is good.

"If you go back to September last year, I think that's five wins out of six in the Championship so we are a team high on confidence and in good form."