Saturday, June 24th, 2023


Mitchell Santner produced a superb all-round performance for Worcestershire Rapids but they went down by 53 runs in the Vitality Blast derby with Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.

Santner returned the fine figures of 2-25 from his four overs after Birmingham were put into bat.

But a mixture of powerful hitting, a struggle to find a consistent line and length with the ball from the other bowlers and some fielding errors meant the Bears totalled a formidable 228-4.

Santner then excelled with the bat in top-scoring with 56 off 32 balls after captain Brett D’Oliveira and Jack Haynes had launched the innings in positive fashion during the powerplay.

But no-one else made a sizeable contribution and the Rapids three game winning streak came to an end as they closed on 175-9.

The Bears are now through to the quarter-finals and the Rapids are still very much in the hunt to join them with two games remaining against Durham at New Road next Friday (June 30) and Derbyshire Falcons at the Incora County Ground (July 2).

Worcestershire made one change from the side which had defeated Notts Outlaws on Thursday with Josh Tongue returning in place of Matthew Waite.

Dillon Pennington bowled a tight opening over and then in his second had Rob Yates dropped on five after he had smashed the ball to backward point.

But the Rapids did not have the sort of powerplay they would have wanted as the Bears reached 68-0 from the opening six overs.

Santner broke the opening stand on 80 in the eighth over when Alex Davies (29) pushed forward and edged a delivery which turned and bounced through to keeper Ben Cox.

New batter Glenn Maxwell was beaten all ends up by the first delivery he faced from Santner who conceded only three runs in his opening over.

Yates completed a 31 ball half century and Maxwell also scored freely during a partnership of 54.

Pennington came back into the attack and picked up a deserved wicket when holding onto a skier from Yates (59) off his own bowling.

Santner stemmed the flow of runs and struck for the second time when Maxwell (44) fell to a fine catch by Pat Brown running around the boundary to his left from long off.

Dan Mousley completed his fifty off 24 deliveries but was caught by D’Oliveira at long off in the penultimate over from Josh Tongue.

When the Rapids launched their reply, Haynes was soon into his stride with a six over deep square leg off Chris Woakes.

He had a let off on seven when dropped at long-on in the second over from the England bowler.

D’Oliveira greeted Maxwell’s entry into the attack by striking him for six over extra cover and two fours in an over costing 16 runs.

He made 28 off 16 balls before being bowled by the first delivery from Mousley after aiming a blow on the legside.

The Rapids ended the powerplay on 55-1.

Haynes also scored freely in his 34 from 20 deliveries but, after striking spinner Danny Briggs for his third six, he was caught at cover off the same bowler.

Adam Hose produced one of the shots of the evening, a delightful cover drive at Briggs expense for his first boundary, but in the same over was stumped at 84-3.

Santner brought the 100 up with a 4-6-4 assault on Jake Lintott in 9.5 overs to keep the Rapids in contention.

Kashif Ali (12) helped him add 40 before dragging a delivery from Hassan Ali onto his stumps at 124-4.

Mousley bowled Ben Cox (7) and Usama Mir (0) with successive deliveries as they looked to force the pace.

Santner completed his fifty in spectacular fashion with a six off Briggs over mid wicket before he was stumped to give Mousley his fourth wicket.

Tongue was bowled by Woakes via an inside edge and Ed Pollock (12) was taken at deep mid wicket off Hassan Ali.