Friday, July 15th, 2016

Rapids Looking To Complete Derby Double To Keep T20 Blast Hopes Alive

Rapids Looking To Complete Derby Double To Keep T20 Blast Hopes Alive

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes has named a 12 strong squad as Worcestershire Rapids look to keep alive their hopes of reaching the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals by defeating local rivals Birmingham Bears in this evening's sold out meeting at New Road (5.30pm).

Alexei Kervezee returns to the squad from skippering the Seconds this week but South African paceman Kyle Abbott is still ruled out with a foot injury.

Worcestershire have won their last two matches in the Specsavers County Championship but have slipped to seventh in the table in the T20 Blast and have to overcome the Bears and then Derbyshire Falcons in their final match and hope other results are favourable.

Rhodes said: "We'll try and win the two games and desperately hope other results go our way.

"It has been a frustrating tournament for us because it offered so much and I do think we've missed Mitchell Santner a lot really.

"We still had a good start in the competition and it has just waned away slightly and that is disappointing.

"But we haven't got a good given right to qualify for the quarter-finals and if we do, fantastic, and if we don't then it is a disappointment to us."

Skipper Daryl Mitchell said: We have still got a chance of qualifying but we have to win our final two group games against Bears and Derbyshire to stand a chance.

"Tonight is a hugely important game for us not only in terms of the group but it’s also against our local rivals at New Road in front of a full house.

"It was great to beat the Bears at Edgbaston earlier in the season because it’s not an easy place to get a positive result and we will take a lot of confidence from that into this game.

"But I am sure Bears will be looking for revenge so it will be another hard-fought game.

"Having started so well in the competition, our T20 performances have fallen away.

"T20 cricket is about all momentum and if you can get on a roll it makes a huge difference and we had that at the start of the competition.

"But you can also suffer a loss of momentum and that can be difficult to stop."

Mitchell added: "We have tried to do things differently. We have changed the batting order and had different people taking the new ball.

"I think our run has been down to a mixture of things and hopefully the momentum will swing in our favour.

"At times, we have played quite well in this run but our batting and bowling hasn't clicked in the same match."

Worcestershire Rapids (from):