Wednesday, July 31st, 2019


holders worcestershire rapids batsman riki wessels has revealed the “great fun” he derives from batting with martin guptill when the talented pair are both in full flow in the vitality blast.

the duo certainly both fired on all cylinders in sunday’s nine wicket home win over durham when wessels hit 74 and guptill 86 not out with 15 sixes between them as they put together an 148 opening stand in 8.5 overs.

now they are preparing for this evening’s meeting with guptill’s former club, derbyshire falcons at New Road (5pm start).

wessels said: “it is always nice to bat with someone who can hit a clean ball like he (guptill) does and, probably like myself, he felt he was due for a score.

“it was one of those days when him and i got going, balls hit the middle of the bat – and, even when they didn’t, they managed to go in a gap to the boundary.

“long may that continue but hopefully we can hit them a bit cleaner as well.

“he’s been threatening for a while. he’s been there or thereabouts and for him to smash the ball like he did against durham, it’s great fun to bat the other end to him.”

the rapids bounced back in style after friday’s setback against lancashire lightning at emirates old trafford.

wessels said: “friday was a bit of a kick up the butt, and a bit of a reality check, and to bounce back like we did on sunday was good.

“like dolly (captain brett d’oliveira) said in the changing rooms, it’s what good sides do – and that’s what we needed.

“friday evening was a bit difficult. i back myself to be quite a clean hitter of the ball and i struggled. guppy got just over a run a ball and we really didn’t get going that innings.

“in terms of what we needed, that was exactly what we needed (against durham).”

worcestershire are currently lying second in the north group and hoping to mount a strong defence of their title.

wessels said: “no team has ever done it (defended the title) in 15 years so obviously it is very hard to back-up what has happened.

“but it’s a good start, three completed games in, and we will see where it takes us really.”

guptill is looking to renew acquaintances with some ex falcons team-mates.

he said: “i played there a few times and i’ve got some decent mates there as well. it will be good to see them but it will always be a battle when on the field.”