Brett D’Oliveira highlighted the importance of having momentum at the business end of tournaments as Worcestershire Rapids gear up for Sunday’s Vitality Blast encounter with Leicestershire Foxes at New Road (2.30pm start).
The talented all-rounder helped the Rapids reignite their hopes of a top-four finish in the North Group with his 67 in the eight-wicket home win over Durham in which he and Jake Libby (78 not out) put on a record 145 for the second wicket.
They were both T20 career-best performances, and there was a third from Rapids pace bowler Charlie Morris with his 3-37 from four overs.
The victory lifted the Rapids points tally to eight from eight games, and only one point divides the teams placed in between third and sixth place in the table.
It was a convincing performance with bat and ball after the away setbacks against Notts Outlaws and Yorkshire Vikings.
D’Oliveira said: “It’s been a tough couple of games, and it was just nice to get that win and get back on the horse.
“We are just over halfway, so there is still a lot to play for, and we are very close to Durham in the table, so it was nice to get that win against them.
“We look forward to the next game now and take the things that we did well on Friday night and try and put them into the game on Sunday.
“Is momentum at the end part of the competition significant? Exactly that.
If you look at the years when been successful, it has often happened that way.
“Fingers crossed, we learn from the Durham game again and move forward to Sunday. There is no easy game in this competition.
“We’ve got another tough game on Sunday. We will look at what we can do a little bit better and, once we do that, we will be able to move forward.”
In breaking down the Durham game, D’Oliveira was delighted with the performance of Morris and the entire attack in restricting Durham to 178-8.
He said: “The bowlers did a fantastic job on an excellent wicket where the ball skidded on nicely, and we thought the score was just about par.
“I am chuffed for Charlie Morris. He works very hard at his game, and to see him come off with figures like that is great.
“He has worked very hard at his game over the winter, as he does every winter, and continues to do so, and it is just great his performances are stringing together, and everyone can see that.”
D’Oliveira and Libby ensured the Rapids were always in control on the batting front, lifting the total to 57 in the powerplay before captain Ben Cox’s crucial late cameo.
He said: “It is about making use of those first six overs in the powerplay and getting off to a good start, especially when chasing a higher total.
“That doesn’t always happen, but often it does, and we just had to knuckle down and work hard.
“We are not the biggest of hitters, but we like to knock it into the gaps and turn those singles into twos and, if you get the odd boundary, you are looking at eight or nine an over.
“The career bests (for myself and Jake Libby) are great but just really pleased to get that win for Worcestershire.
“It was frustrating to get out when I did. I would have liked to have got the team over the line, but it wasn’t meant to be, but Jake did that, and I thought Ben Cox played an outstanding knock at the end under extreme pressure and in gloomy conditions.
“I thought he played an excellent knock there. He just took the pressure right off Jake, and it was brilliant to get over the line.”