Friday, May 26th, 2023


Adam Finch hit three sixes in the final over from Matthew Fisher to earn Worcestershire Rapids a dramatic two-wicket win over Yorkshire Vikings in a Vitality Blast encounter at New Road.

Nineteen were needed from the final over to earn the Rapids a second win in the space of 24 hours, and Finch went into overdrive with the bat to seal victory with a ball to spare.

Finch deposited the first ball from Fisher over the mid-on boundary as the excitement started to grow amongst Rapids supporters.

After a dot ball and a two, the fourth ball disappeared over the long off boundary, and then Finch smashed the next over the ropes at long-on.

It sparked incredible scenes of joy from players and supporters alike as the Rapids followed up their win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks with another two points. 

Finch ended with 30 not out from just ten deliveries.

He came in at 145-7 in the 18th over and struck all but one of the remaining 31 runs required to pull off a remarkable victory.

The Vikings totalled 175-9 after opting to bat, with Pat Brown picking up three wickets in his final two overs to finish with 3-28 in a fine display from the England T20 bowler.

Spin accounted for 11 of the Rapids overs, with Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira picking up two more wickets after his 3-28 against the Steelbacks, while Michael Bracewell and Usama Mir bowled tightly.

The Rapids made one change, with Pennington replacing fellow pace bowler Mitchell Stanley.

Yorkshire captain Shan Masood opted to bat, but his side were on the back foot after Pennington struck in each of his opening two overs.

Dawid Malan steered the first delivery he faced straight to keeper Ben Cox and Adam Lyth’s mistimed pull lobbed straight into the hands of mid-on.

It brought back memories of Pennington’s explosive 4-0 new ball burst in a Blast game at Headingley two years ago.

Jonny Tattersall and Masood set about trying to rebuild the innings during a partnership of 47 but both fell in successive overs from D’Oliveira.

Tattersall was pouched at short fine leg sweeping at the leg spinner, who then saw Masood hole out off a slog sweep to deep mid wicket.

The spin combination of Usama, Bracewell and D’Oliveira kept the scoring rate in check during the middle overs until Jordan Thompson struck three successive sixes.

He raced to 36 off just 18 balls before aiming another big hit at Bracewell and skying a simple chance to backward point.

Wiese impressively announced himself with a flat six over extra cover but then the former Sussex player and Ben Mike both lofted Pat Brown straight to deep mid-wicket in the same over.

Some big blows from Matthew Revis – including successive sixes off Finch – and Dom Bess gave the Vikings innings late impetus.

Revis top-scored with 42 from 31 balls before he was run out in the final over from Brown, who then bowled Jafer Chohan after he backed away to the final delivery.

The Vikings carried their momentum into the start of the Rapids innings with a double breakthrough from Matthew Fisher.

D’Oliveira mistimed a pull and perished just inside the boundary, and Bracewell chased a wide delivery and was caught behind.

Adam Hose, who top-scored with 61 against the Steelbacks, was quickly into his stride and struck Thompson for three fours in the final over of the powerplay.

Jack Haynes also looked in good touch and on drove and off drove Revis to the boundary as the 50 stand was completed in 32 balls. 

Thompson broke the partnership after it added 78 when he held onto a fine return catch away to left to account for Hose. 

Haynes went in the next over from Jafer Chohan when he was unable to clear deep mid wicket.

Ben Cox clubbed his way to 26 off 14 balls before he turned Revis straight to deep square leg, and Ed Pollock aimed a legside blow and was bowled by Wiese.

Kashif Ali was caught at cover off Thompson, but then Finch went into overdrive to secure victory.