Thursday, June 17th, 2021


Alan Richardson stressed the importance of Worcestershire Rapids coping and dealing with the highs and lows of Vitality Blast cricket in preparation for tomorrow’s (Friday’s) home clash with Northamptonshire Steelbacks (5.30pm start).

The Rapids had moved to the top of the table after a three-game unbeaten start to the campaign before tasting their first setback against visiting Yorkshire Vikings, who were inspired by a 48 ball hundred from England star Jonny Bairstow.

Richardson says it is all part of the ups and downs that all sides will encounter during the 14 game group programme in the Blast as they look to complete a double over the Steelbacks.

He said: “The test for all the guys in this competition is that you have to move on. You have to try and park it. You learn from it as much as possible.

“You learn as much from these performances as the ones when we win, and you are happy with. We have to move on from that, learn from it.

“It’s the rollercoaster that is T20 cricket. We came up against a very strong Yorkshire side who played extremely well. Jonny Bairstow played brilliantly well, and that was the match-defining innings. We found it tough going from there.

“We had a nice first six overs in the powerplay. I thought we did exceptionally well in the powerplay. We were looking to take wickets, and we did that.

“I thought Ben Dwarshuis and Dillon Pennington were exceptional in that powerplay. It gave us a good grounding, but it didn’t quite go our way after that.

“We’ve played against some good teams and world-class players, and Jonny Bairstow is certainly that.

“For 20 overs, we were on the wrong end of it, but the guys have to learn from that. They have to keep going and, even the inexperienced lads have played enough to know some games will go our way and some won’t, and it won’t always be a bed of roses.

“They have to pick themselves up. We play 14 games in a pretty quick period, and we are going to have to cope with those ups and downs, some good performances and some performances we are not so happy with.”

Moeen Ali and Riki Wessels gave the Rapids a useful foundation to chase down a daunting 217 target with a stand of 67 in eight overs – a new Blast record for the Worcestershire second wicket in matches against Yorkshire.

But they were eventually bowled out for 122 as seven wickets went down for 12 runs in the space of 23 balls.

Richardson said: “It was always going to be a tough ask. The wicket was pretty good, but it was always going to be a difficult task in those 20 overs. I thought we set ourselves up reasonably well upfront.

“We still tried to stay brave and score as quickly as we could, and it just didn’t work out there.

“It looks a bit of a car crash at the end but, if you look at the first ten overs of that batting performance and say ‘that can take us forward into the next game, and more games after that’ and hopefully we don’t put ourselves in a position where chasing 14 an over for a long period.”