Pat Brown is delighted with his return to form this summer in the Vitality Blast and feels “fit and fresh” as he moves closer to becoming Worcestershire Rapids leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket.
The pace bowler heads into Thursday’s home encounter with Notts Outlaws (5:30pm) – the side he made his debut against six years ago – on 90 Blast scalps after his three wickets in Tuesday’s win over Lancashire at New Road.
Only Daryl Mitchell and Jack Shantry have taken more T20 wickets for Worcestershire than Brown.
He has 19 victims from 10 matches this summer and is the Rapids leading wicket-taker, often bowling in the powerplay and in the ‘death’ overs at the finale of an innings.
Brown says playing a sizeable chunk of red ball cricket for the Seconds in the lead-up to the tournament has helped him to flourish in the Blast.
He said: “I do feel like I’ve been bowling well game on game. I’ve had a couple of rough years when I’ve probably not been at my best.
“Last year was probably just a case of my own form and before that a bit of injury.
“I feel fit and fresh and having a good amount of red ball cricket in me beforehand has helped.
“I’ve just been disappointed with one or two balls which in T20 cricket cost you. You get one ball wrong and it disappears and takes your economy from potentially nine to 11s.
“Generally I’ve been really happy with the way I’ve gone. I just need to tighten up a little bit and really focus and make sure there are no freebies in there (to hit).
“I try and keep it simple, follow the lead of Dillon (Pennington) really, just smash in a good length as hard as you can.
“It’s about just trying to stay as calm as you can and minimising where the batters can hit the ball.
“If they hit the ball over our fielders on the boundary we just say ‘fair enough’ and make them do it a couple of times before changing the plan.
“If you change the plan too much, and end up doing this, that and the other, it rarely ends up well. As a group, we just try and stick to our strengths and it’s been working pretty well generally.”
Mitchell ended his career with 101 T20 wickets for Worcestershire and Shantry 92.
Brown said: “Hopefully I will go past Mitch. It is something. I don’t really think about it every day but, when you get reminded of it, it is something on my mind.
“Hopefully I get there. It will be a (big) ask this season but going forward hopefully it can happen.”
Brown is aware of the significant of the Rapids two games in 24 hours with Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston on Friday following on from the meeting with Notts Outlaws.
He said: “We’ve got another two really tough games this week in Notts and Birmingham and we know how tight it is.
“If you lose those two, you are probably out of it, if you win them, you are probably top.
“It’s about taking it game by game, deal first with Notts, hopefully get another win, and then go to Edgbaston and try to put in a performance on Friday.”
The Rapids have announced an unchanged squad of 13 for the Outlaws encounter – the 11 in action against Lancashire Lightning on Tuesday plus Matthew Waite and Jake Libby. Tickets for the game can be bought by clicking here, as the Rapids look to continue their impressive home form in the competition.
Brett D’Oliveira ©
Ben Cox (W)