Saturday, August 7th, 2021


Worcestershire Rapids head into the finale of the Royal London Cup group programme with their destiny still in their own hands, and being urged “to back themselves to come out on top”, in the battle for a top three spot.

The Rapids are currently lying in fourth spot after a trio of victories has been followed by three defeats.

But wins over Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday and Durham at New Road on Tuesday would almost certainly secure a place in the knockout stages.

Assistant-Coach Richardson, who is overseeing the Royal London Cup in tandem with Kadeer Ali, said: “We started the tournament in terms of results very strongly and we haven’t quite strung it together since then.

“Momentum is not going with us but, it is still in our hands and, if we win the last two, we’ve got a real good chance of going through.

“They are two tough games, two sides currently above us in the league, and it is a real nice challenge for the boys to have.

“The last time we played one of the sides above us was Essex and we came out on top there so I think the boys have to back themselves to come out top and perform as well as we can.”

Paceman Adam Finch is a doubt for the trip to Old Trafford with a back injury suffered against Sussex Sharks although he is included in the squad.

Richardson said: “We are going to give him as much time as we can, and see how he pulls up.

“It is something he had earlier in the season, and that settled down quite quickly. Sunday might be a bit too soon, but we will give him every opportunity.”

Club Captain Joe Leach says every remaining match for the Rapids in the Royal London Cup “is like a knockout game”.

Leach said: “We have certainly made it hard for ourselves after winning the first three – but that’s fine.

“In some ways, we know exactly now what we need to do now. We can’t speculate, we’ve just got to get our heads down.

“I think if we string together two performances, we are more than capable of winning two games of cricket.

“I’m certainly very confident about that. We are looking forward to Sunday now and hopefully getting a win, and then coming back to New Road to hopefully clinch qualification next week.

“I was aware that five wins is what it would probably take (to qualify) and am a bit disappointed to be in a position where we need two (from two).

“But that’s the game we love, so roll on Sunday.”

Leach added: “Lancashire have got a pretty strong side? They have, but if you want to win the competition you have got to beat the best teams.

“Every game is like a knockout game for us now, isn’t it?

“Hopefully we win four or five of them and lift that trophy at Trent Bridge in a couple of weeks time.”