Friday, June 19th, 2015

Steve Rhodes Reaction To Table-Topping Rapids Win Over Lancashire Lightning

Steve Rhodes Reaction To Table-Topping Rapids Win Over Lancashire Lightning

Worcestershire Rapids Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes gives his reaction after his side's thrilling two wicket win over Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford in the NatWest T20 Blast – following Ben Cox's match deciding six from the penultimate delivery by James Faulkner – sent them top of the North Group.

Question: After Monday how important was that win?

Steve Rhodes: "Yes, to get back on the road and a victory is really important. Lancashire are a really good team. There aren't many people who come to Old Trafford and beat them so, to take the two points, we are absolutely delighted.

"It was a really good game of cricket and great fun to play for the boys but great viewing and the people here will go home impressed with a fantastic game of cricket. Two sides I thought were pretty equal really but thank goodness we came out on top."

Question: Was 163 a good total?

Steve Rhodes: "We thought they were just a little bit under par, but only just. It was a decent score and we know what the average winning score is here but it was difficult to assess with the wind, the long boundary and then the short boundary which was into the wind.

"It was quite difficult to assess exactly what a good score was. I was thinking we had won it, thinking we had lost it. When Coxy hit that one, first thing I said was 'he's got hold of it' and it kept going and going to the long boundary so a tremendous hit."

Question: The shouts from the team balcony said how much it meant really?

Steve Rhodes: "We are working so hard. We don't want to bring up the sad things but Monday really hurt us and it's great to get back on the road and two points is exactly what we wanted.

"I think we also shouldn't forget the role Brett D'Oliveira also played in that chase. He got out just before the end. Both him and Coxy were two new batters at the crease after we lost Colin Munro and Daryl Mitchell.

"To lose the two in-batters with five overs to go was a real blow to us but I thought Brett and Coxy put together a very fine partnership in getting that win."

Question: You had to contend with good bowling from James Faulkner at the end?

Steve Rhodes: "He is a tricky customer with varying paces because he has got quite a quick, skiddy bouncer and he follows it up with various slower balls or short balls.

"Not easy, especially with that long boundary as well but thankfully Coxy got one right in the middle and it carried over the rope."

Question: If Worcestershire defeat Derbyshire Falcons, you are in a decent position?

Steve Rhodes: "We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. We've got to play them one at a time.

"We've had a great night at Old Trafford and hopefully we can back it up against Derbyshire."

Question: Another fine half century from Daryl Mitchell, three in six T20 innings?

Steve Rhodes: "Yes but he would have been disappointed to get out because Colin Munro had just been run out and both of them had invested a little bit of time in getting in and really, if we are truthful, one of them should have been there at the end to win the game for us, probably in the 19th over.

"But it doesn't always go as planned and to lose both of them in successive balls put a lot of pressure on the other guys and they were up to the challenge.

"Mitch has played well in this format for a while now. He has proved in the past what a good T20 player he is and he has shown it again."

Question: Excellent bowling from Moeen Ali, four overs for 22 overs?

Steve Rhodes: "I thought at various stages all our bowlers bowled well but Moeen in particular had really good figures. He also got us off to a bit of a flier with the bat.

"He had an excellent day and hopefully he will have a good day against Derbyshire before he leaves us to go with the Ashes party."

Question: Has it taken much to lift the lads after Monday?

Steve Rhodes: "We had one-to-one work. It was optional work for a couple of days so the coaches were in but there is no naughty boy nets or anything like that.

"They were all upset at the way we played against Warwickshire but it's done and dusted now and that win over Lancashire is the perfect tonic because there are a lot of happy and cheerful faces in there with that marvellous shot from Coxy at the end."

Question: There were six spin bowlers used tonight?

Steve Rhodes: If you think of spin, you've got to hit spin, you can't use the pace generally so things like the ball going fine to fine leg or third man, it doesn't happen as often as it might do with the fast bowlers.

"There is potentially a little less ground to cover, that area tends to be a little bit untouched. It is one of the advantages of bowling spin that they hit towards your fielders."