Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Rhodes: Rapids Have Greater Batting Fire-Power In T20 Blast Cricket

Rhodes:  Rapids Have Greater Batting Fire-Power In T20 Blast Cricket

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes believes Worcestershire Rapids now have the batting fire-power which can bolster their chances of success in NatWest T20 Blast cricket.

Rhodes admitted that the county used to rely on all-rounder Gareth Andrew as their main six-hitting weapon.

But he now feels the Rapids can call upon "six or seven" players at any given time to clear the ropes of find the boundary.

This was evident in this evening's superb five wicket win over Durham Jets at New Road which carried the Rapids into top spot in the North Group.

Andrew, in his first appearance for a month after a back problem, showed his usual power with 20 off just 12 balls.

But he was more than backed up by the man of the match Ross Whiteley who hit three sixes in an unbeaten 25 off just 14 balls to help seal a fourth successive win in the competition.

Rhodes said: "One of the biggest benefits about this squad compared to some of the others is that we have got more guys who can clear the ropes now.

"The fours and sixes that you can hit in Twenty20 cricket means that you can obviously win games from strange positions and that proved it tonight.

"We used to rely quite heavily on Gareth for the sixes and now we've got six or seven guys who can clear the ropes at any given time."

Worcestershire needed 42 from the final three overs and 15 from the final one by Chris Rushworth but Andrew and Whiteley pulled out all the stops.

Rhodes said: "With 15 needed off the final over, in many ways were happy to be in a position where we could still win the game.

"We were struggling a bit for the large majority of that game.

"But I said to the lads on the bench, our best two strikers potentially are Gareth Andrew and Ross Whiteley, so with those two at the crease we thought we would have a really good chance of winning.

"We were really pleased with that win. If you look at the way the game went, I thought Durham bowled extremely well early on and in the middle as well. They made it very difficult for us.

"We couldn't get the boundaries, we couldn't really get the ball away, we need a big over from somewhere and thankfully, with the no balls bowled by (John) Hastings (in the 18th over) that has cost them dearly.

"Those free hits got us back in the game. They possibly went away from their plan. They were bowling cutters into the wicket which were effective and they tried to go to yorkers and that meant they bowled a few full tosses which the lads put away.

"But credit to our middle order players. They hit the ball beautifully."