Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Munro Eyes Helping Rapids To Clinch Home Quarter-Final In T20 Blast

Munro Eyes Helping Rapids To Clinch Home Quarter-Final In T20 Blast

Colin Munro wants to help Worcestershire Rapids secure their first ever home quarter-final in NatWest T20 Blast cricket after playing a major role in the eight run win over Derbyshire Falcons under the floodlights at Derby last night.

The New Zealand batsman smashed 65 off 37 balls with two sixes and nine fours – his first half century for the Rapids in the competition – and also only conceded 30 runs in his four overs.

It was Worcestershire's fifth successive T20 Blast win and kept them at the top of the North Group at the half-way stage of the qualifying group with a home clash with local rivals Birmingham Bears on Friday (June 20) next on the agenda.

Worcestershire have reached the quarter-finals on three occasions and lost away matches with Surrey, Gloucestershire and Yorkshire.

Munro acknowledges there is still plenty of work ahead and stresses no-one is getting carried away with the current position but a top two finish secures a home tie in the last eight.

He said: "It's nice to get a few wins, and a couple of close wins as well. If it goes the other way, it is hard to get back into the tournament so we are sitting pretty well in the table now.

"If we can get another couple of wins or whatever it takes, and secure that home quarter-final, I think it will be the first time for the club so if we can do that, it would be brilliant.

"But we know there is still work to be done."

Skipper Daryl Mitchell (68 not out) aided Munro in a third wicket stand of 98 in 10 overs and then Chris Russell and Jack Shantry shared seven wickets while Saeed Ajmal bowled another tight spell of 1-29 from his four overs.

Munro had passed the 30 run mark three times in his six previous T20 innings but was delighted to make an even more sizeable contribution and he also praised Mitchell's 51 ball knock which contained two sixes and five fours.

He said: "I've got a couple of starts which I've been happy and disappointed with.

"I haven't sort of kicked on and got that score and it's something I've been working on and this time I kicked on and got a decent score and contributed to a winning performance.

"Mitch lays a good foundation. That's the way he plays. He is a great player but not a massive hitter of the ball although he does strike it well towards the end.

"If we bat around him, with the quality of batters we've got in our team that can hit the ball over the ropes, it works well. He has done it a couple of times now."

Munro also hailed the way the county's bowlers dragged the scoring rate back after Derbyshire made an aggressive start when chasing a 178 target with Russell taking three wickets in the final over.

He said: "We showed the character we have shown in the whole tournament, bringing it back with the ball in the middle stages and Chris Russell at the death doing what he does.

"There have been a couple of times where we've brought it back through the middle and finishing it towards the death so long may it continue.

"I think Chris has done a really good job for us this season since he has come into the side especially towards the death.

"He backs himself 100% and sticks to a simple plan and it's come off, not just at Derby but pretty much in all the games he's played at the death.

"He gets wickets at the death but also dot balls which are gold at the end.

"You are either getting smashed at the death or getting wickets. At the moment he is getting wickets and long may it continue because wickets win you Twenty20 games."