Monday, May 29th, 2023


Kashif Ali’s maiden half-century in Vitality Blast cricket and the stranglehold of three spinners played major roles in Worcestershire maintaining their 100 per cent record with a 33-run success over Leicestershire Foxes at New Road.

Kashif again demonstrated his superb potential with a sparkling 69 as Worcestershire recovered from 30-3 to post an impressive 183 for seven.

Leicestershire reached 70-1 in the 10th over and looked to have laid the foundations for a worthy pursuit of a 184 target.

But Rapids Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, Michael Bracewell and Usama Mir all picked up two wickets apiece and bowled tightly with combined figures of 11-0-72-6.

Pat Brown was also again amongst the wickets, and it means the Rapids have won their opening three games

Usama Mir has ended his current spell at New Road after making a big impression with bat and ball.

He will be replaced by Mitchell Santner, who flies in tomorrow after being part of the successful Chennai Super Kings IPL squad.

The Rapids announced an unchanged side, and D’Oliveira opted to bat after winning the toss.

Bracewell got off the mark with a cut for four off Naseem Shah but was lbw working a full-length ball from the same bowler to leg.

D’Oliveira began with a boundary wide of second slip off Wiaan Mulder but, in the same over, took a stride down the wicket and nicked through to keeper Harry Swindells.

Jack Haynes looked in excellent touch and smashed Shah for four boundaries in his second over before he was lbw deep in the crease to Mulder.

Kashif Ali mixed some wristy strokes with sheer power as he and in form Adam Hose set about rebuilding the innings.

They added 45 when Hose, who had top-scored in the wins over Northamptonshire Steelbacks and Yorkshire Vikings, tried to slice Callum Parkinson over the off side and fell to Colin Ackermann’s catch running back from cover.

A pull for six and a delightful cut to the ropes in the same over from Reehan Ahmed enabled Kashif to complete a 33 ball half century.

He then produced an audacious shot in upper-cutting Will Davis for another maximum backward of square.

Shah’s return to the attack brought about an end to Kashif’s brilliant knock when he found the hands of deep backward square.

In the same over Ed Pollock was run out first ball by Ackermann’s direct hit from mid on.

But Usama Mir profited from being dropped before he had scored to plunder an unbeaten 32 from 15 balls with three sixes.

Ben Cox weighed in with a typically breezy 28 from 23 balls before he also found deep mid wicket’s hands off Will Davis.

When Leicestershire batted, Bracewell struck an early blow when Sol Budinger clubbed a delivery straight to Hose at deep mid wicket.

But Nick Welch scored freely, and crucially, Leicestershire kept wickets in hand, losing only one in the powerplay.

D’Oliveira brought himself into the attack and made a double breakthrough in the space of four balls.

Welch was pouched at long-on by Haynes, and Ackermann was bowled via an inside edge and his pad.

Rishi Patel hurried to 42 but then gave Usama Mir the charge and was stumped.

The Pakistan leg spinner’s final over of his current spell at New Road also yielded a wicket when Arron Lilley was leg before aiming a blow over mid-wicket.

Bracewell came back to ensure there was no late heroics from the Leicestershire batters by claiming the last three wickets to fall.

He ended with figures of 3-25 to follow up his three wickets and fine show in the win over the Vikings.