Worcestershire Rapids went down by 16 runs in a high-scoring latest Vitality Blast encounter against Somerset at Edgbaston this afternoon.
Daryl Mitchell became Worcestershire’s record wicket-taker in T20 cricket with a three wicket haul.
But overall it was a challenging day with the ball for the Rapids – particularly in the final five overs – and they conceded a total of 14 wides as Somerset totalled 229-8 after being put into bat.
In reply, Jake Libby hit a career best T20 score of 75 not out and Mitchell completed a personally successful day with a quickfire 45 as the Rapids fell short on 213-7.
Rapids Blast captain Ed Barnard said: “I was really pleased for the most part with the bowling. For the first 15 overs, we were a lot better than we had been for the first two games.
“The last four or five overs, especially myself, I was really disappointed with the execution. It is something we are going to have to go away and talk about and we are going to have to put it right quickly. We are trying and we are putting in as much practice as we can.
“With the bat, I thought we put up a really good effort. I thought everyone struck it nicely. Jake Libby was exceptional again, he has been a wonderful addition to the squad.
“I was really pleased with the way Daryl came in and hit a few towards the end. We obviously needed one special innings which we didn’t quite have today.”
Worcestershire handed a Vitality Blast debut to paceman Adam Finch who has impressed this season while on loan to Surrey in the Bob Willis Trophy with four wicket hauls against Essex and Kent.
The 20-year-old came into the side for Rapids spinner Brett D’Oliveira as part of a four-pronged pace attack.
The game was played on the same hybrid pitch as which Gloucestershire plundered 157-3 off 12 overs against Warwickshire yesterday evening.
Mitchell broke an opening stand of 90 between when Babar Azam and former Worcestershire keeper Steve Davies when the former – on 42 from 35 balls – chopped a delivery onto his stumps.
It was Mitchell’s 93rd T20 victim for the Rapids and they enjoyed a second success when James Hildreth (26) lofted Pennington into the hands of Riki Wessels at long on.
Davies’ knock ended on 60 when he picked out Ross Whiteley at deep square leg off Pennington.
Mitchell struck in successive balls in his final over as Tom Abell (21) swung across the line and was bowled and Gregory (0) offered a low return catch.
There was another breakthrough when Ben Green (14) cut Brown straight to short third man. Adam Finch completed the 19th over after Barnard had to be taken from the attack for bowling successive high full tosses.
Finch picked up his first T20 wicket when Eddie Byrom (18) was taken at long on before Josh Davey (3) was run out in the final over.
Worcestershire had to score at more than 11 runs an over and Hamish Rutherford creamed three boundaries in the first over from spinner Max Waller. Wessels (1) skied Gregory to mid-on and Rutherford (22) departed to a catch on the deep square boundary off Ollie Sale.
Jack Haynes looked in good nick and raced to 20 from nine balls before he edged a Sale delivery and was caught behind and then Ben Cox (7) departed to a sharp return catch by Davey.
Sale held onto a fine low catch at backward square to dismiss Ross Whiteley (15) to give Davey his second scalp.
Jake Libby brought the Rapids 100 up with a six from a highish Gregory delivery in the 12th over before Barnard (11) was lbw to a Davey full toss as he tried to work the ball to leg.
Mitchell was also in good form with the bat and Green was hit for three sixes – all in the mid-wicket region – in the same over.
Libby completed his maiden T20 fifty for Worcestershire from 35 balls. Mitchell – 45 off 22 balls – became Davey’s fourth victim to leave Libby undefeated with his 46 ball knock containing two sixes and seven fours.