Friday, June 19th, 2015

Moeen Shines With Ball And Bat As Rapids Overpower Falcons To Stay Top

Moeen Ali's superb all-round performance helped Worcestershire Rapids to overwhelm Derbyshire Falcons by eight wickets at New Road and remain top of the North Group in the NatWest T20 Blast.

The England star picked up three wickets and smashed 65 off just 28 balls as the Rapids made quickfire work of reaching their 137 target with 7.1 overs to spare.

It completed a successful 24 hours for the Rapids after last night's thrilling victory over Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford.

They have now reached the half-way stage in their group fixtures and have won five out of seven matches.

The Falcons never recovered from losing four wickets in the opening four overs in the face of disciplined bowling and excellent fielding after they had decided to bat.

They were limited to 136-7 and then Moeen's fireworks and another solid innings from skipper Daryl Mitchell before some late hitting from Colin Munro sealed victory.

Jack Shantry made the first breakthrough when new Derbyshire signing Hanish Rutherford (10) was caught at short mid on by Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

Joe Leach shared the new ball and quickly accounted for Chesney Hughes (0) who was caught behind, a good low effort by Ben Cox away to his left.

It became 21-3 when Wes Durston chopped Shantry to short third man and was called for a single by Shiv Thakor (5) who was run out by Leach's throw to Cox.

Only one run had been added when Wayne Madsen edged Leach to Kohler-Cadmore at slip.

Moeen was brought into the attack for the ninth over and he immediately enjoyed some success when Scott Elstone (21) fell to an excellent low catch by Ross Whiteley on the cover boundary.

The 28-year-old struck again when opener Wes Durston (29) went for a sweep and was stumped by Cox.

Moeen's third breakthrough came from another sweep by Alex Hughes (22) into the hands of Leach at deep square leg.

Tom Knight (19 not out) and Tom Poynton (27 not out) gave the score-line some respectability while adding 45 in 5.5 overs.

Moeen finished with figures of 3-28 from four overs, Leach 2-25 from four and Shantry 1-36 from four.

Any hopes that the Falcons had of making the home side battle to reach their target were quickly blown away by Moeen who scored 56 of his 65 runs in boundaries.

He flicked Nathan Rimmington for six over fine leg and hammered Wayne White for four, four, six in his second over.

Moeen was at his most destructive in the second over bowled by Thakor which cost 24 runs and he went to his half century off 24 balls.

By the end of the powerplay Moeen had scored 64 out of 73-0 to effectively end the contest.

He added one more run before his splendid innings ended when caught on the square leg boundary by Rutherford off Chesney Hughes.

In total Moeen hit four sixes and eight fours and left the ground to a standing ovation.

Mitchell continued to accumulate in typically effective fashion while Kohler-Cadmore hit a rapid 19 before being bowled by Alex Hughes.

Munro was in no mood to keep the Rapids fans waiting and sixes from pulls at the expense of White and Alex Hughes sealed victory.

The New Zealander ended unbeaten on 22 from nine balls and Mitchell, the county's leading run-scorer in the T20 Blast this summer, finished on 33 not out from 30 deliveries.