Worcestershire Rapids ended their 2022 Vitality Blast campaign against Notts Outlaws in a fixture where they wore shirts supporting the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, the Club’s Official Charity Partner for 2022.
The Rapids totalled 159-8 on the same wicket used for Friday’s superb win over Lancashire Lightning, with Colin Munro, Moeen Ali, Kashif Ali and top scorer Ed Barnard all making decent contributions.
No one was able to quite play the significant knock needed to set an even more challenging target, with England bowler Jake Ball impressing for the Outlaws with 4-21.
But the Rapids bowlers made their opponents work hard for a five-wicket success with eight balls to spare.
Mitchell Stanley showed more of his promise with a wicket in each of his first two overs, and Moeen bowled a tight spell to help keep the Outlaws in check before Ben Duckett’s unbeaten half-century saw them home with eight balls to spare.
The Rapids were put in to bat and former Nottinghamshire batter, Jake Libby (6), departed after nicking a delivery from Jake Ball.
Munro, in the final innings of his third spell at New Road, looked in good touch and struck Lyndon James for 4-6-4 and also lofted Steven Mullaney over the long-on boundary.
Ball returned to strike twice with Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira (5), finding mid-off and Munro, having made 27 off 14 balls, bowled behind his legs attempting a sweep.
Ball had figures of 3-5 after his opening two overs as the Rapids reached 41-3 by the end of the powerplay.
Rapids captain Moeen Ali looked in good form in adding 49 in partnership with Kashif Ali, who again confirmed his promise.
Moeen on 28 picked out long-on off Sol Budinger, Kashif (23) hit the same bowler to cover, and Gareth Roderick (2) played back to Samit Patel and was bowled.
Barnard provided some late momentum with 38 off 28 balls.
He hit James for two fours and a six in the penultimate over from James before being caught at long-on, and then Dwayne Bravo became Ball’s fourth victim at deep mid wicket.
The Rapids quickly made an impression with the ball in picking up three wickets in the powerplay, with Stanley again showing his ability to take early wickets.
Joe Clarke sliced the first delivery from Stanley straight into the hands of third man, and Budinger, after making 24 off 12 balls, lofted the young pace bowler straight to deep mid-wicket.
Alex Hales smashed successive sixes over the mid-wicket boundary but then tried to steer Dillon Pennington to third man and was caught behind.
The Outlaws were 68-4 when Steven Mullaney was beaten in the flight and lbw to Bravo.
Duckett and James added 52 before the latter tried to hit D’Oliveira over long-on and had to depart thanks to the combined efforts of Libby and Barnard on the boundary.
But Duckett played sensibly to complete a 39-ball fifty and ended unbeaten on 62.