Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Skipper: Rapids Have “Scary” Batting Line-Up For Vitality Blast

Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach says the Rapids have a “scary” looking batting line-up as they prepare for this evening’s (Thursday’s) Vitality Blast opener with Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford.

Leach may be absent from the competition because of injury but is confident the Rapids can bounce back from last season’s disappointing T20 campaign.

He is looking for the County to repeat the early momentum they achieved in the Royal London One-Day Cup and did not relinquish on their way to the semi-finals.

Leach said: “The batting line-up in particularly is scary. Let’s put it this way. I wouldn’t want to bowl at that!

“Martin Guptill, Moeen (Ali) when he is available, Joe Clarke, Travis Head, Callum Ferguson, Brett D’Oliveira, Ross Whiteley, Ben Cox and Ed Barnard can all give the ball a real wallop.

“We’ve added experience on the bowling front with Andy Carter and Luke Wood to our young emerging bowlers like Dillon (Pennington) and Pat (Brown) who did well in the semi-final.

“Charlie (Morris) and Ed (Barnard) had good 50 over campaigns and hopefully Josh (Tongue) can come into the reckoning as well from a seamers point of view.

“It looks well stocked. Hopefully we put in a good showing.”

Leach added: “It was a bit of a horror show last year but it is difficult to compete across all formats for a whole season – and we did win Division Two of the Championship and reach the semi-finals of the One-Day Cup.

“If you look at even the big teams, and by that I mean the guys who have got large squads, they struggle to compete across three formats just because of the nature of the season.

“Hopefully we can produce some good performances because the side on paper looks very strong.

“Winning it is a thing we’ve identified as a group. We should be there or thereabouts if we play anything like.

“I’m not going to make any predictions but it’s a strong looking side on paper.

“Momentum is very important and that’s exactly what we managed to do in the 50 over competition.

“If we can get a couple of early wins, hopefully we can build that momentum and qualify for the knockout stages.

“The way the season is kind of laid out, if you get on a roll then it is very easy over a period of time to get those wins and keep wracking them up.”







COX (w)