Friday, June 9th, 2023


Worcestershire Rapids went down by 26 runs despite fireworks with the bat from skipper Brett D’Oliveira, Kashif Ali and Ben Cox in the high-scoring Vitality Blast encounter with Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley.

A brilliant maiden T20 century from James Wharton enabled Yorkshire Vikings to total 224-4, and he received excellent support from Dawid Malan (79) in a second-wicket partnership of 159.

The outcome might have been different as Worcestershire were left to reflect on being unable to make the most of the chances in the field which came their way.

When Worcestershire batted, captain D’Oliveira showed plenty of aggression at the top of the order in making 47.

Kashif (48 not out from 27 deliveries) and Cox (35 off 22 balls) then blazed away during a fifth wicket partnership of 81 in 6.5 overs.

But the Rapids ended short of their stiff target of 198-6, and in addition, all-rounder Michael Bracewell had to retire injured.

Worcestershire kept faith with the side which had been in action against Lancashire Lightning at Blackpool on Wednesday evening.

The Vikings opted to bat on winning the toss on a glorious sunny evening but lost their opening wicket to Bracewell in the second over.

Adam Lyth went to pull a delivery from the New Zealander, and captain Brett D’Oliveira took a fine catch running back from mid wicket.

Adam Finch bowled a fine opening over in which he conceded only two runs.

Wharton had fortune on his side in Pat Brown’s opening over, lofting one shot on the off side, which just evaded a fielder and then surviving a chance to mid on when on 19.

The Vikings reached 62-1 by the end of the powerplay, and Wharton completed his maiden T20 half-century off 20 balls.

Malan cleared Pat Brown, who was just in from the deep mid wicket boundary, by inches off Mitchell Santner and brought up his fifty from 33 deliveries.

Spinners Michael Bracewell and Santner struck in successive overs.

Malan (79) was caught on the cover boundary off Bracewell, and then Vikings captain Shan Masood holed out to D’Oliveira at wide mid off against Santner. 

Wharton completed an excellent maiden T20 century off 51 balls and ended unbeaten on 111.

David Wiese was run out by Cox’s direct hit in the final over. Bracewell finished with 2-39 and Santner 1-40.

The Rapids began their reply in positive fashion, with Bracewell smashing Wiese for successive fours over long on in the opening over.

But the New Zealander then had to be helped off after falling awkwardly on his right leg when playing a delivery from Dom Bess off the back foot.

He was replaced by Jack Haynes, who immediately got off the mark by sweeping the spinner to the boundary.

Haynes (6) was caught off an attempted pull against Wiese at mid on.

D’Oliveira scooped Wiese for four, and Hose lofted Jordan Thompson over deep backward square for six. 

The Rapids leading run-scorer in 2023 then went for another legside hit, but on 11 top edged Jordan Thompson, and keeper Jonathan Tattersall ran around to take the catch.

Santner showed his power to loft successive balls from Bess over cover for four as the Rapids reached 57-2 at the end of the powerplay.

D’Oliveira smashed Matthew Revis straight for a maximum but, on 47 from just 31 balls, found the hands of deep mid wicket in the same over at 107-3.

Santner followed his half century against Lancashire by making 27 before he was taken at long on when attempting to hit Jordan Thompson over the top.

Cox and Kashif then took the fight to the Yorkshire attack with a half century stand in 23 balls.

The keeper-batter scooped a delivery from Revis over the ropes, and Kashif collected successive maximums at his expense.

Thompson broke the stand by having Cox caught at deep backward point, and Ed Pollock found deep backward square to the next delivery.