Thursday, June 22nd, 2023


Worcestershire Rapids registered a third successive win to stay on course for the Vitality Blast quarter-finals as they overcame Notts Outlaws by five wickets at New Road after another impressive display.

The Outlaws were restricted to 139-8 after a splendid all-round bowling performance by the home side.

Dillon Pennington set the tone with a three probing overs during the powerplay and the spin trio of Mitchell Santner, skipper Brett D’Oliveira and Usama Mir had combined figures of 11-0-65-5.

Pat Brown also picked up two more wickets to take his tally to 21 and was unlucky not to add to that figure.

D’Oliveira then gave the Rapids reply early momentum with a fluent 36 although they also found it challenging to score freely against the spinners.

But Ed Pollock and Adam Hose mixed aggression with sensible batting to see the Rapids over the finishing line with nine balls to spare.

Pollock ended unbeaten on 38 from 25 balls and Hose 33 not out from 31 deliveries as they added an unbroken 60 in eight overs.

The Rapids are now level on points with the Outlaws after clocking up a seventh victory in 11 games and also have a game in hand.

The Outlaws were put into bat by D’Oliveira and immediately ran into trouble against some splendid bowling.

Alex Hales needed one more maximum to become the competition’s all-time leading six-hitter.

But the England batter remains on 182 after edging his first delivery from Pennington through to keeper Ben Cox.

Santner also struck in his first over when Lyndon James tried to work the New Zealand all-rounder to leg and played all around a delivery which knocked out his off stump.

Pennington again bowled three successive overs in the powerplay with great success and outstanding figures of 3-0-15-1.

Former Worcestershire player Joe Clarke lofted the first six of the game but the Outlaws were restricted to 40-2 in the powerplay.

Matt Montgomery did his best to improvise against some accurate bowling and three times used the reverse sweep to pick up boundaries.

But Clarke struggled to 19 from 18 deliveries before he holed out to deep mid wicket off D’Oliveira after adding 53 with Montgomery.

Montgomery managed a run a ball 39 and then tried to hit D’Oliveira over the top and perished to a catch by Usama Mir running back from cover.

Hameed then aimed a big blow at Santner and only picked out long on and Shaheen Afridi provided catching practice to deep mid wicket off Usama.

Brown then lifted his wicket tally for the tournament to 21 with two in two balls.

Outlaws captain Steven Mullaney was pouched at cover and Calvin Harrison tried a ramp shot to his first delivery and was bowled.

Tom Moores did his best to get the Outlaws up to a competitive total but both he and Matt Carter were dropped in the final over from Brown.

Pennington ended with 4-0-19-1, Usama 4-0-19-1,  D’Oliveira 3-0-15-2, Santner 4-0-31-2 and Brown 4-0-44-2.

D’Oliveira got the Rapids reply off to a flier with 4-6-4-4 off successive balls from James.

He scored 24 of the first 27 runs before Jack Haynes was caught at mid-on off Jake Ball.

The Rapids reached 50-1 by the end of the powerplay.

Santner (13) offered a return catch to Carter and then D’Oliveira’s fine knock ended on 36 as he found the hands of deep mid wicket off Harrison

Kashif Ali aimed a mighty heave at Mullalley over the leg side and was bowled and Ben Cox was bowled behind his legs sweeping at Harrison.

But Hose and Pollock kept calm, being content to take the singles but also pounce on any loose deliveries to good effect.

Pollock profited from some powerful drives and then Hose sealed victory after pulling a delivery from Afridi.