Ross Whiteley will make his 100th T20 appearance for Worcestershire Rapids in this evening’s Vitality Blast encounter against Yorkshire Vikings at the Headingley ground, where he produced two of his most memorable performances.
The all-rounder is the Rapids record, six-hitter, with 115 in his 99 games for the County, and only Moeen Ali, with 109 in 101 matches, has also reached three figures.
Rapids supporters will recall Whiteley’s fantastic knock of 91 not out from just 35 balls with 11 sixes at Headingley in July 2015.
Then two years later, Whiteley became the first Englishman to hit six sixes in an over against spinner Karl Carver on the same ground.
He is the Rapids third-highest run-scorer – 1833 – in T20 cricket behind Moeen and Daryl Mitchell and is this season’s joint leading scorer in the Blast alongside Jake Libby.
In addition, Whiteley has proved time and time again how superb a fielder he is, and already this summer has produced some outstanding catches.
Rapids Assistant Coach Alan Richardson said: “I’ve only been here for a fraction of the time that Ross has been but, having been on the end of it as well at Warwickshire, know what a destructive player he is.
“He is such a clean striker of the ball, so dangerous, such a valuable member of the team.
“You watch him also in the field, the way that he is, the way he keeps the boys going, so yes, it has been a magnificent achievement for Ross (to get to 100 games).
“It is a reflection of how highly skilled he is. He’s also played a bit of franchise cricket, and he is in The Hundred as well, so he is recognised throughout the game.
“We are lucky to have him and, having played almost 100 games, he would have affected a lot of those in a positive manner for us.”
Richardson is looking for the Rapids to bounce back from a below-par performance in the ten-wicket defeat against Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge yesterday evening.
He said: “A pretty horrific day at the office. All the boys will acknowledge that, and we all will, support staff included, so not a great day, one that we will have to learn from and move on.
“We know that the games in this competition come thick and fast, and we’ve got another one on Wednesday, and we have to pick ourselves up and go again.
“It was tough the whole way through with our batting potentially not executing as well as they could and not adjusting to the conditions.
“It bounced a little bit more, the wicket behaved a little bit different to what we would have thought, but we’ve still got to put our hands up, and at 11-4, you are struggling to win a game of T20.
“Without pointing fingers too much, it was probably not the best start, and from then on, we were behind the game, and we struggled to take any positives out of it.
“We know that Joe Clarke and Alex Hales play, with that freedom and we were on the back end of that as well.
“Whenever you play a game of cricket, sometimes things fall into place, and you get ahead of the game, and it makes life a lot easier.
“I thought Notts bowled really well, and they put us under pressure throughout, and that was a real struggle for us.
“It’s something we’ve got to learn from and, in those games where a side wins easily, they look like a well-oiled machine, and that’s what they did, and it’s something we have to aim to be doing in the games coming up.
“The games come thick and fast. It’s nice to have momentum sometimes going into those games, but sometimes it’s good to have an opportunity to put that performance to bed and move on and certainly put in an improved one and get a win.”
Ben Cox (c and w)