Monday, June 5th, 2023


Kadeer Ali says there were many plus points to take Worcestershire Rapids last over defeat to Northamptonshire Steelbacks and that everyone was remaining level-headed in tackling the challenges of a 14-game group in the Vitality Blast.

The Rapids remain top of the North Group after five games despite losing their 100 per cent winning record after a see-saw game with the Steelbacks at a sold out New Road. 

Only a superb knock from Saif Zaib – 70 not out from 35 balls – denied the Rapids a record-breaking fifth successive success.

Once again, there were several Rapids players making their mark, with Brett D’Oliveira, Jack Haynes, Mitchell Santner and top scorer Ben Cox (46 not out) contributing significantly with the bat.

Then Dillon Pennington and Adam Finch impressed with the new ball with the latter producing some excellent yorkers and also posing a threat when he returned in the closing stages.

Kadeer Ali said: “It was a fantastic game of cricket and it took a special knock there from Saif to take it away from us.

“The lads who batted said there was a little bit in the wicket and the new ball was tricky so we thought we had a decent score on the board.

“We were pretty happy at the halfway stage and after the powerplay they were 45-1, and we would have taken that.

“But Saif’s striking at a rate of 200 was a special knock.

“There was one chance that went up into the sun that Mitchell (Santner) didn’t see, and there was a dropped catch the very next ball.

“It would have been nice to have taken our chances but going to the last over needing 15 to win, you are still massively in the game, and two sixes in two balls have massively swung it their way.”

Kadeer added: “It is going to be tough to win all 14 games in any competition. We are just going to keep nice and level-headed.

“Even when we won the first four games, we were nice and grounded. 

“The lads were disappointed we haven’t won, but we move on to the next game on Wednesday. 

“There were so many positives, so many good things we can take from this game with the bat and the ball.”