Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Rapids Open One-Day Cup Campaign With Superb Success

Rapids Open One-Day Cup Campaign With Superb Success

Worcestershire Rapids opened their Royal London Cup campaign with an excellent five-wicket win over Notts Outlaws via the Duckworth-Lewis Method in a superb game concluded in gloomy light at New Road.

The Outlaws compiled 273 for six thanks to Michael Lumb's eighth limited-overs century – 104 from 126 balls (eight fours, three sixes) – after they had been put into bat.

Rapids skipper Joe Leach again performed well with the ball and dismissed Lumb and England one-day player Alex Hales in finishing with 3-50 from 10 overs and there was also a good performance from Moeen Ali (2-49).

A series of showers left the Rapids with a revised target of 168 in 22 overs and they passed it with 12 balls to spare.

Joe Clarke set up the chase with a classy 40 (26 balls, six fours, one six) before Ross Whiteley (41 not out, 19 balls, four fours, two sixes) saw it spectacularly through.

It maintained Worcestershire's 100 per cent start to the campaign with three wins from three in all competitions.

The Outlaws' innings had started brightly with 37 from 8.3 overs before Alex Hales fell lbw to Leach to the last ball before the players went off for rain.

After a short interruption, Rikki Wessels chipped Ed Barnard to deep mid-wicket but Lumb batted responsibly to shore the innings up with support from Samit Patel and Billy Root.

Lumb and Patel added 65 in 12 overs before the latter, having looked in excellent form for 46 from 42 balls, holed out to Moeen Ali.

After Brendan Taylor missed a slog at Moeen and was stumped by Cox, Root settled quickly and made an impressive 46 (42 balls, three fours, one six) on his limited-overs debut in a stand of 84 in 13 overs with Lumb.

Lumb finally fell to a brilliant catch by Cox – his 50th dismissal in limited-overs cricket – from an edge off Leach.

The Rapids' reply started briskly with 19 runs, including four fours in the first two overs, but then Jake Ball dismissed both openers in three balls.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore went for a big hit over the leg-side but found only Root at deep mid-wicket before Ali attached a good-length ball and sent it straight to Stuart Broad at mid-off.

Clarke and Brett D'Oliviera defied deepening gloom to add 60 in eight overs with the former executing a couple of sublime ramp-shots off Fletcher and Broad, before both fell in quick succession.

Clarke drove Luke Fletcher to cover and D'Oliviera was bowled by fellow spinner Patel.

That brought together two new batsmen – Whiteley and Cox – in poor light but they responded with brio, compiling a partnership of 49 in 22 balls, and Whiteley's clean hitting proved the decisive factor in a compelling spectacle.

Forty nine were still required off six overs but 31 from the 17th and 18th by Patel and Fletcher respectively swung the game decisively in the Rapids favour.

After Cox departed, it was Leach who hit the winning boundary off Ball.

Worcestershire paceman Jack Shantry told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: : "It was a fantastic win. I thought our bowling first up was good on a pitch that was doing a bit early on.

"Leach and Hastings bowled really well early on and got us off to a good start.

"Then chasing that big total in 22 overs we played really well. Ross Whiteley had a fantastic knock at the end and it was a good way to start the tournament.

"Joe Clarke's knock was really classy against some high-quality bowling, with their international bowlers like Stuart Broad bowling quick.

"The light was fading a little bit but Clarkey played some phenomenal shots over the keeper off Broad and Fletcher.

"We did really well to get there with a couple of overs to spare." "

Nottinghamshire head coach Peter Moores, the former Worcestershire keeper, said: "It's always tough to get beaten but credit to Worcestershire, I thought Ross Whitely played really well.

"When you get rain-affected game, it sometimes hurts you a bit more when you are bowling second. "We played well with the bat. It was tough up front and perhaps we might have extended some of our partnerships but they took wickets at good times which slowed us down in the middle.

"Michael Lumb played really well and paced it nicely and Billy Root played really well on his debut, confident to play his own shots from ball one on his debut.

"I don't think that total was far off par on that pitch. We walked in thinking that was going to be a really competitive score and I think, without rain, it would have been."