Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Whiteley And Andrew Sixes Barrage Lifts Rapids Into Top Spot In T20 Blast Group

Whiteley And Andrew Sixes Barrage Lifts Rapids Into Top Spot In T20 Blast Group

Worcestershire Rapids created their own slice of NatWest T20 Blast history as some big-hitting from Gareth Andrew and Ross Whiteley helped secure a spectacular last over win over Durham Jets at New Road.

The Rapids have now won four successive T20 games in the same campaign for the first time to move top of the North Group.

Their previous best sequences of results in the competition came in 2004, 2009 and 2012 when they won three matches in a row.

Worcestershire had required a demanding 42 runs from the last three overs in pursuit of Durham's 105-3 in 13 overs in a rain-reduced clash.

But the game swung when Whiteley hit two sixes off John Hastings in a seven ball over costing 20 runs.

The Rapids still required 15 from the final over but Andrew, playing his first game for a month after injury, stepped up to the plate with a six and a four off Chris Rushworth.

Andrew was caught at long on off Ben Stokes for 20 off 12 balls but then Whiteley smashed the next delivery over mid-wicket to settle the contest with two balls to spare.

It was the signal for wild scenes of celebration from the players and spectators alike.

Whiteley finished unbeaten on 25 from just 14 balls.

Play was finally able to get underway at 4.30pm and Rapids skipper Daryl Mitchell put Durham into bat after winning the toss.

Jack Shantry bowled a tidy first over before his new ball partner Chris Russell struck with successive balls in his opening over.

First Durham skipper Mark Stoneman (2) holed out to Alexei Kervezee who took a good low catch on the mid wicket boundary.

Then Phil Mustard tried to uppercut the next delivery and only succeeded in edging through to wicket-keeper Ben Cox to leave Durham on 5-2.

Ben Stokes played several aggressive shots in making 24 off 15 balls with four fours but Colin Munro's first delivery undid the England all-rounder who was caught at long on by Andrew with the total on 33 in the sixth over.

Calum MacLeod, who scored 80 not out in the first meeting between the sides, hit Mitchell for six over mid-wicket and then helped the next delivery on its way over the long leg boundary.

Saeed Ajmal conceded just 14 runs in his three overs in a typically tight spell.

MacLeod (43 not out) and Muchall (30 not out) added 72 in 7.5 overs as Durham reached 105-3 off 13 overs.

The Durham bowlers settled into an accurate line and length from the start of the Worcestershire innings.

Mitchell (1), last night's hero against Leicestershire, fell in the second over when he pulled John Hastings into the hands of Stokes at deep square leg.

His opening partner Richard Oliver (8) tried to cut the last ball of the four over powerplay from Usman Arshad and was caught by Stokes at backward point with the total on 24.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore kept the scoreboard moving with 32 off 24 balls with the aid of five boundaries, the pick of which was a cover-drive off Hastings.

But Durham still appeared to be holding the edge until the Andrew-Whiteley late boundary blitz.