Monday, July 3rd, 2023


Worcestershire Head Coach Alan Richardson praised “sensational” Mitchell Santner and the Rapids players for handling the pressure as they clinched a Vitality Blast quarter-final spot.

The Rapids will travel to face Hampshire Hawks at the Ageas Bowl after overcoming Derbyshire Falcons by 28 runs at the Incora County Ground.

Santner again showed his class with a top score of 64, including four successive sixes, in the Rapids total of 222-6.

He then returned 1-28 with his left arm spin as the Falcons were bowled out for 194.

Richardson said: “It was an outstanding win, under a lot of pressure with it being a knock-out game to finish the group stage.

“I thought the boys handled it brilliantly well and played with real intent to put a performance together to give ourselves a chance to win which we did, so I’m very happy.

“I think Brett (D’Oliveira) led from the front really well and played with real intent to get us off to a good start.

“Seventy runs in the powerplay was fantastic and I thought him and Jack (Haynes) put pressure on the bowlers which gave us something to build on which we did as the game went on.”

Santner hit the first four balls of the 15th over bowled by spinner Matt Kiernan for six.

Richardson said: “We want to score consistently throughout but if you see an opportunity to have a big over, you take it, and the one that stands out is when Mitchell Santner hit four sixes off four balls which gave us the opportunity to get well over 200.

“He’s been great throughout the tournament and in the last three or four games he’s been absolutely sensational with bat, ball and in the field and  showed his class.

“He’s been great around the boys, they’re learning lots from him and he’s putting in match-winning performances.”

Pat Brown chipped in with three more wickets and Richardson felt his catch to dismiss Falcons top scorer Wayne Madsen (63) was pivotal.

He said: “Wayne is a magnificent player and he’s played well against us on many occasions so I think Pat Brown’s catch was fantastic, running in full length and diving.

“It was a big wicket, a real key point because, as long as Wayne was in, it felt like they had a chance.

“It was overall one of our better performances in the field on an outfield where the ball skips along and Jake Libby’s catch (to dismiss Leus du Plooy) was also fantastic.”

The Rapids qualified after winning eight and tying one of their 14 group matches.

Richardson said: “Ultimately we want to win every competition we are in.

“We know it is very difficult but with white ball cricket it is about first getting through the qualifiers which was a huge ask for us, especially after last year when we didn’t perform anywhere near where we can.

“We should take great pride and heart in that but Dolly just said this is the first part of the journey towards trying to win the trophy.”