Friday, June 10th, 2016

Rhodes: Hero Ben Reaps Rewards Of Hard Work On Shot Selection

Rhodes: Hero Ben Reaps Rewards Of Hard Work On Shot Selection

Steve Rhodes hailed Ben Cox's man of the match winning knock and says the Worcestershire Rapids wicket-keeper batsman reaped the rewards of his hard work on some of the shot selections evident in the win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks.

Cox produced a reverse paddle which went for four in the final over from Muhammad Azharullah and several other improvised strokes in making an unbeaten 42 off 24 balls in the NatWest T20 Blast clash at New Road.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore had laid the foundations for a fourth win in five games in the competition with an excellent 60 off 49 balls and he received good support from Brett D'Oliveira (37).

But it was Cox who saw the Rapids over the finishing line by three wickets as the moved to the top of the North Group.

Director of Cricket Rhodes said: "I am delighted with the victory. It was a tough victory. Northants tested us on a very pacey pitch but I thought the two batters there, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Ben Cox, played superb innings.

"It was a really exciting match played in very poor conditions in many ways because of the drizzle but credit to all of the players, including the Northants players, for staying out there.

"We can play better than that and I think the team realise that but it was a special ending with Ben Cox playing so well towards the end.

"He deserved that. He has worked very hard at some of the shots you saw tonight and he pulled them off which was great to see.

"It was a great ending and lots of entertainment and for, all the supporters and fans who didn't come along, I bet they wished they did even though the weather was so bad. It was a fantastic night's entertainment.

"We are very proud tonight to play the way we did and the key is we can play better so that is a really good thing and, if we can play our 'A' game, then hopefully we might be able to beat anyone on the day."

The Rapids achieved their victory without New Zealand paceman Matt Henry and skipper Daryl Mitchell who both have rib injuries.

Mitchell suffered his setback in the nets in the build-up to the game.

Rhodes said the fitness of the two players would be assessed ahead of Sunday's Royal London One-Day Cup match with Durham Jets at the Emirates ICG.

He said: "Mitch did it in the nets. He just felt a little tweak. He was having a slog at one off George (Rhodes) and just felt something.

"But in T20 games if you have got a little problem, you can be exposed a bit, the same with Matt Henry. We just wanted to make sure we had 11 fit people out there on the park.

"We don't know how long he will be out for. We will assess it in the morning. Those sort of injuries you have a look 24 hours later and see where he is at.

"Matt is unlikely to be fit for Sunday but you never know, we've got a brilliant physio. He might be able to get him right. "

The players will have little time to bask in the glory of another excellent victory following on from the seven wicket trouncing of Yorkshire Vikings in the One-Day Cup on Tuesday.

Rhodes said: "We will leave tomorrow afternoon so the guys can have a bit of a lie in. It is the nature of our game and I don't mind it.

"I like the day in, day out bandwagon of county cricket. I know some of the players find it quite tough but it's been good recently.

"We've given debuts to people like George (Rhodes) who has come in and done well and other players.

"We are starting now to use most of our squad. Chris Russell has played tonight and Charlie Morris is obviously in the wings, desperate for a game.

"Injuries test your squad but our reserves are looking good at the moment and fingers crossed we can carry on taking the points and winning games."