Captain Moeen Ali praised the “amazing fight” demonstrated by Worcestershire Rapids in fighting back to secure a tie in the opening Vitality Blast encounter with Notts Outlaws at New Road.
The Rapids totalled 152-6, and then after the Outlaws had reached 76-0 at one stage, combined tremendous skill with the ball and in the field.
The three spinners in Moeen, debutant Ish Sodhi and Brett D’Oliveira pegged back the scoring rate and picked up wickets and then a tight last over from Josh Tongue, including two run-outs, earned a share of the spoils.
Moeen said: “It was a brilliant game. It was like a win for us in the end, I thought. We showed amazing fight, and that’s all I wanted really.
“I wanted us to take it to the wire, take the game as deep as we could.
“We believed even when they were going well that if we got a couple of wickets, we were in the game.
“Against Notts, we had done something similar before on finals day a couple of years ago in the semi-final.
“Did finals day come into it? 100 per cent. We have got a decent record against them, and Dan Christian was a big miss for them.
“Ross Whiteley pulled off a brilliant catch, and I thought our fielding was outstanding today.
“We caught some really good catches, good, run-outs and we showed so much fight.”
Moeen also praised the impact made by the limited crowd allowed into New Road under COVID-19 guide-lines.
He said: “I thought the atmosphere at the end was amazing. It was almost like a full house.
“I’ve really missed the crowd here. I love playing in front of these guys.
“When we put in performances Like that and show fight like that, I’m sure they are proud of us.”
Worcestershire recovered from a challenging start with the bat thanks to a half-century from Jake Libby and 42 by Whiteley.
Moeen said: “In the end, to get 150 was good. We lost three wickets in three overs, and you are always pushing a bit after that.
“But Jake, as he has done all year, and Ross gave us a platform for some sort of score.
“Jake is a fantastic player. He seems to score a lot of runs. He is on this amazing wave (of success), and hopefully, he can do it for a long time for us.”