Wednesday, June 1st, 2022


Brett D’Oliveira’s excellent spell of spin bowling was in vain as Worcestershire Rapids were comfortably beaten by 48 runs by Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside.

The all-rounder finished with 3-23 from four overs to temporarily check Durham’s momentum in mid-innings after a flying start.

But a target of 187 looked above par and proved to be well beyond the Rapids after they lost two wickets in the opening two overs of the powerplay.

There were useful knocks from Colin Munro, Jake Libby and vice-captain Ben Cox but no one could play the required substantial innings and score at the required rate.

It was the Rapids fourth defeat, all away from home, and they will be hoping for better fortunes when they play their first home game at New Road against Birmingham Bears on Friday afternoon.

The Rapids had been in contention for large parts of the opening three matches, but this time they were never in serious contention and closed on 138-9.

Cox won the toss and opted to put the home side into bat on a wicket right in the centre of the square.

The Rapids fielded an unchanged side, keeping faith with the players who featured in the game against Lancashire at Emirates old Trafford.

Spinner Josh Baker again bowled the opening over and conceded just five runs.

But Michael Jones gave Durham a positive start with a succession of boundaries in making 44 off 25 balls, including three sixes over long on.

He dominated an opening stand of 64 with Graham Clark before Charlie Morris made the first breakthrough with the penultimate delivery of the powerplay.

Jones was undone by a slower ball out of the back of the hand and was yorked in losing his off stump.

D’Oliveira came into the attack after the end of the powerplay and gave away just four runs in his first over before striking in his second.

He trapped Clark lbw (24) after the opener came down the pitch and aimed a blow over mid wicket.

D’Oliveira then made a typically brilliant stop on the cover boundary at full stretch to deny Ollie Robinson a boundary and save two runs.

Successive boundaries by Robinson brought up the 100 in the 12th over.

But D’Oliveira came back into the back and dismissed Robinson (35) who went back and was bowled by a delivery which skidded on at 113-3.

David Bedingham had a slice of luck when he inside-edged Ed Barnard for four.

D’Oliveira struck again in his final over when he fired the ball leg side and had Paul Coughlin (10) stumped by Cox off a wide.

Brown then knocked out Bedingham’s middle stump after making 17 when attempting a scoop shot.

D’Oliveira remained in the thick of the action and produced a fine low catch at long on to account for Brydon Carse (19) off Matthew Waite.

Baker also pulled out all the stops to take a stunning boundary catch.

Liam Trevaskis (4) flicked Brown to deep square leg, and Baker parried the ball before stepping back inside the boundary to take the catch.

When the Rapids batted, Ed Pollock (6) fell to a fine catch by Bedingham, diving to his left at point, off Coughlin in the opening over.

Jack Haynes (3) was bowled by a pacey delivery from Brydon Carse in the second over.

Opener D’Oliveira was joined by Munro and the pair looked to rebuild the innings during a stand of 42.

The in-form Munro cut Ben Raine’s first delivery to the ropes, and D’Oliveira pulled Coughlin for four.

Munro greeted Perth Scorchers team-mate Andrew Tye, Durham’s new signing, by coming down the track and hitting him over mid-wicket for a boundary.

The 50 came up in 6.4 overs, but then D’Oliveira (15) was lbw to Raine after looking to hit him on the leg side, and Munro (26) fell to a catch at deep mid-wicket from Scott Borthwick’s first delivery.

Libby made room to lift Trevaskis over cover for four and then pulled him through mid-wicket for a second boundary in the over.

But the run rate continued to climb, and Libby (20) fell to an excellent low diving catch at cover by Trevaskis off Raine.

Cox needed treatment after being struck on the elbow by a throw back in from the boundary by Raine.

He continued and made 27 off 29 balls before he and Barnard (9) both were dismissed in one over from Tye, and then Baker (0) lost his off stump to Raine.

Tye bowled Matthew Waite (10) as he and Raine both ended with three wickets.