Friday, August 18th, 2023


Worcestershire Rapids took another impressive step towards the knockout stages of the Metro Bank One Day Cup after Kashif Ali’s hurricane knock helped them overcome Derbyshire by 62 runs at the Incora County Ground.

Kashif smashed 88 off only 36 balls with seven sixes and eight fours – a total of 74 in boundaries.

It was another example of his outstanding potential as the first product of the South Asian Cricket Association to sign a pro contract with a first class county last summer.

Derbyshire were powerless to halt his onslaught as Worcestershire totalled 254-5 from 30 overs.

But it was far from a one-man show, with captain Jake Libby and new signing Rob Jones continuing their fine form.

Libby completed his third half-century of the tournament and has amassed 327 runs at an average of 65.40.

Jones followed up his maiden century for Worcestershire against Northamptonshire Steelbacks two days ago with another fifty.

Derbyshire opener Luis Reece (96) was also in good form to keep his side’s hopes alive but he became one of four scalps for Pat Brown.

Matthew Waite (2-47) and Josh Baker (3-29) also both picked up two wickets in an over as the home side were dismissed for 192 in 25.1 overs.

The last eight wickets went down for 47 runs in seven overs.

It clinched a fifth win in seven games for the Rapids, who complete their group programme against Sussex at New Road on Sunday (11am start).

Worcestershire made one change from the side that triumphed over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road with Joe Leach returning instead of Logan van Beek.

Steady morning rain meant play did not get underway until 2.15 pm, and Derbyshire captain Brooke Guest put the Rapids into bat.

They lost a couple of early wickets with Ed Pollock (1) bowled by Sam Conners and Gareth Roderick (5) taken at slip after he came down the wicket to Suranga Lakmal.

But the batting exploits of Jones, Libby and Kashif Ali dominated the remainder of the innings.

Jones and Libby had put on a record-breaking 194 against Northamptonshire and they featured in another excellent partnership of 95 in just 13.2 overs.

The duo both hit Alex Thomson for sixes over long off as runs came at a rapid rate.

A reverse scoop off Mark Watt enabled Jones to complete a 45-ball half-century before he was caught at long-off from the bowling of Luis Reece.

Libby drilled Reece over extra cover to reach yet another fifty from 40 deliveries.

New batter Kashif was immediately into his stride with some brutal but also clean hitting.

He swept Watt for his first maximum and collected two more in an over from 16-year-old debutant Harry Moore.

Three successive boundaries off Conners enabled Kashif to complete a 21-ball fifty and he continued to pepper the boundary.

Libby also scored freely and the 100 partnership came up from just 45 balls.

Kashif was on course to score Worcestershire’s fastest-ever List A century – Moeen Ali’s 46-ball knock against Northamptonshire at Kidderminster in 2007 – when his superb knock finally came to an end.

He went for another big hit down the ground off Conners but only picked out long off and he left the ground to a standing ovation.

Libby departed in the next over when he was caught and bowled by Moore off a skier but Ben Cox’s unbeaten 22 off ten balls sustained the momentum.

When Derbyshire batted, openers Harry Came and Reece also scored freely in putting on 77 in 8.5 overs before the former, on 34, was caught by Jones at deep mid-wicket off Brown.

Reece brought up his half century from 33 balls but Tom Wood (8) became tied down before he holed out to mid on off Dillon Pennington.

Derbyshire reached 145-2 in the 19th over but then Waite pegged them back with two wickets in two balls.

Wayne Madsen (10) sliced the ball to Brown at deep point and then Haider Ali (0) tried to work Waite to leg and was lbw.

Baker came into the attack and bowled tidily before striking twice in the space of four balls.

Guest (12) was bowled behind his legs attempting to sweep the slow left warmer, and Thomson (1) took a stride forward and suffered the same fate.

Reece’s fine knock ended four runs short of his century when he pulled Brown to Roderick at deep square leg.

Pollock then produced a stunning one-handed catch at short mid wicket to account for Moore (2) in the same over.

Brown claimed a fourth wicket when Watt was caught by Jones in the deep and he finished with 4-51 and it was all over when Baker bowled Conners (0).