Friday, June 30th, 2023


Worcestershire Rapids destiny remains in their own hands after a superb all-round performance from Mitchell Santner was the highlight of the tied Vitality Blast match with Durham under the Duckworth-Lewis Method.

The Rapids will guarantee a quarter-final spot with a positive result in their final North Group encounter with Derbyshire Falcons at the Incora County Ground on Sunday.

Santner was the pick of the Rapids attack and finished with the excellent figures of 1-25 from four overs in a Durham total of 216-4.

The New Zealander then hammered 42 off just 20 balls with nine boundaries.

With Jack Haynes, Adam Hose and Kashif Ali also weighing in with important contributions, Worcestershire were very much in contention when bad light intervened.

At that point, the Worcestershire total stood on 112-3 from 11 overs.

The two teams and portions of the crowd hung around in the hope of conditions improving before umpires Jack Shantry and Paul Baldwin finally ended proceedings.

It mean both sides had to be content with a point apiece.

Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira was back to lead the Rapids after missing the drawn LV=Insurance County Championship fixture with Derbyshire through illness.

Haynes (knee) and pace bowler Adam Finch (hamstring) were also fit to return for the Rapids.

D’Oliveira won the toss and elected to bowl first in front of another capacity crowd on an overcast evening.

Dillon Pennington gave the Rapids the ideal start as he continued his trend of making early inroads with the new ball.

England batter Alex Lees (2) tried to hit Pennington over the top but only picked out Usama Mir at mid off.

Finch bowled a succession of testing yorkers in the penultimate over of the powerplay which yielded only three runs.

Worcestershire kept faith with the quicker bowlers for the six over powerplay in which Durham reached 45-1.

Michael Jones and Graham Clark started to accelerate but the introduction of Santner into the attack ended a partnership of 83.

Jones (39) tried to hit the New Zealand all-rounder over the top but only found the hands of Kashif Ali at long off in an over costing just three runs.

Brydon Carse showed plenty of attacking intent in making 39 off 19 balls and adding 71 with Clark, but he was eventually bowled attempting a legside hit off Usama Mir after he switched to the Diglis End.

Finch came back into the attack and another excellent over was deservedly rewarded when Clark (78) departed to a fine low catch by Adam Hose at long on.

Santner should have collected another wicket when Ollie Robinson was dropped on mid off and once again the left arm spinner ended his spell with excellent figures.

But some late hitting by Ashton Turner lifted the final total to 216-4.

In increasingly murky light, the Rapids began their reply and D’Oliveira (7) was bowled in the second over from Ben Raine looking to force the pace.

Haynes accelerated with the introduction of spinner George Drissell, sweeping him for four and smashing the next two balls for six over long on.

But he was bowled off the final ball of the over attempting another sweep after making 24 from 10 balls.

Santner came to the wicket and immediately was peppering the boundary boards as 33 runs came from the final two overs of the powerplay.

He used all his skill to find the ropes all over the ground with Brandon Glover conceding four boundaries in the fifth over and Raine another four in the next.

The Rapids ended the powerplay on 71-2 and then Santner, having made 42 off 20 balls with nine fours, was caught at long off from the bowling of Nathan Sowter.

Hose and Kashif kept the scoreboard moving with a huge six by the former off Sowter bringing up the 100 just before the players left the field for bad light.