Worcestershire Assistant Head Coach Kadeer Ali described Usama Mir as “world class” after the Pakistan all-round produced another excellent performance in the Vitality Blast derby with Birmingham Bears at New Road.
Usama baffled the Bears batters with his leg spin and finished with 3-22 from his four overs.
He then showed his big hitting qualities with the bat in striking 32 not out from 16 balls with three sixes.
It followed on from his encouraging performances in the opening trio of games in the tournament and he has now been signed as the injured Michael Bracewell’s replacement for the remainder of the Blast.
Kadeer said: “Usama is world class. He has been performing well for a while, for Pakistan as well, and we’ve had our eye on him for a while.
“It is great that he is with us, and he is performing well, and hopefully he can help us win more games moving forward.
“Usama in the middle overs was outstanding.
“Absolutely gutted for Michael Bracewell. We wish him all the best. Usama comes back in and performed brilliantly again today.
“I played against him in a Sunday League game last year and I’ve known of him for a while now. He’s exactly the kind of player you want in T20 cricket.
“He can smack the ball at the end of an innings and he is a mystery leg spinner who spins it both ways and has got all the tricks.
“Usama is a big lad, and you wouldn’t think he could bowl leg spin from that height but he is amazing, and is going to be really good.”
Regarding the game, which the Bears won by 21 runs, Kadeer said: “Disappointed. We needed two points today but we go again on Sunday now (against Leicestershire Foxes).
“I thought with the ball we probably leaked 10-15 runs too many at the back end of their innings.
“Dan Mousley and Jacob Bethell played really nicely but I think they got 49 off the last 18 balls. Credit to them but we missed executing a little bit. It was always going to be a challenge to chase 190 plus.
“We needed a good start with the bat and Brett D’Oliveira batted well and we had a good partnership going between him and Adam Hose.
“Unfortunately we kept on losing wickets at the wrong time. When we started to get a bit of control of the game, we lost a wicket, and the rate kept creeping up and up and we couldn’t afford any quiet overs and in the end were 20 runs short.
“Up until about 15 overs, our score was similar to Birmingham, but we knew the back end of their innings was very strong.
“The key was to keep scoring 10-15 runs an over as much as we could but I thought their spinners bowled really nicely and they made it difficult for us.”