Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Rapids Go Down Fighting As Long Unbeaten Run Ends In T20 Blast

Rapids Go Down Fighting As Long Unbeaten Run Ends In T20 Blast

Worcestershire Rapids went down fighting as their eight game unbeaten run in the NatWest T20 Blast came to an end when Lancashire Lightning won by 50 runs in the North Group top of the table clash at New Road.

The Rapids faced a daunting 230 target in a match which marked the return to action in front of a 4,000 crowd for former England legend Andrew Flintoff.

But they also peppered the boundary boards during an opening stand of 90 in nine overs between in-form skipper Daryl Mitchell and Richard Oliver.

Mitchell hammered 46 off 28 balls with one six and six fours and was only just short of his fourth fifty in the last five T20 Blast innings when he was stumped off a wide from the bowling of Steven Croft.

Oliver hit two sixes and three fours in his 29 ball 44 before he sliced Croft to backward point with the total on 132.

Flintoff claimed the of his two wickets when bowling Tom Kohler-Cadmore for nine but not before the 19-year-old had hit him for six over square leg.

Ross Whiteley (3) was bowled by Junaid Khan but Colin Munro hit a quickfire 28 before being bowled by former Worcestershire paceman Kabir Ali.

Alexei Kervezee (6) and Ben Cox (6) fell in the pursuit of an increasingly high run rate as Worcestershire closed on 179-7.

The Rapids will now look to put this rare setback behind them when they take on Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston on Friday evening.

Worcestershire had collected 14 points from the previous eight matches courtesy of six wins and successive wash-outs against Nottinghamshire Outlaws and Yorkshire Vikings.

But they came up against a Lancashire side who registered their highest ever score in T20 cricket thanks to some powerful hitting from Joss Butler and Ashwell Prince.

Lancashire were put into bat and Tom Smith set the tone for the Lancashire innings with 30 off 20 balls with five fours and a six.

Saeed Ajmal brought his innings to an end when he came down the wicket and was stumped by Ben Cox with the total on 36 in the fourth over.

Prince and Karl Brown added 60 in six overs before the latter on 29 sliced a delivery from Colin Munro into the hands of Chris Russell at short third man.

England one-day player Buttler reached his 50 off 26 balls but then Brett D'Oliveira ended his innings on 55 with a fine catch.

Buttler swung a delivery from Munro to deep mid wicket but D'Oliveira at full stretch palmed the ball back into play before he crossed the ropes and then caught the rebound.

Buttler and Prince had shared a stand of 93 in seven overs.

D'Oliveira also had a hand in the dismissal Prince who was fourth out for 68 with the total on 198 in the 19th over from Jack Shantry.

Prince sliced the ball onto the offside and was run out attempting a second run by the throw of D'Oliveira running in from the cover boundary.

His 43 ball innings contained two sixes and nine fours.

Ajmal was Worcestershire's most economical bowler as he finished with 1-34 from four overs.