Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Whiteley Powers Super Rapids Towards Third T20 Blast Quarter-Final In Four Years

Whiteley Powers Super Rapids Towards Third T20 Blast Quarter-Final In Four Years

Ross Whiteley gave another demonstration of his awesome hitting ability as Worcestershire Rapids moved closer towards a NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final spot for the third time in four seasons by defeating Yorkshire Vikings by 74 runs at Headingley.

It was a year ago that Whiteley smashed an unbeaten 84 off 38 balls with nine sixes in the home win over Derbyshire Falcons which sealed the Rapids place in the last eight.

Now the all-rounder went even better in clearing the ropes ELEVEN times in the space of only 35 balls in making a sensational 91 not out – and thrilling the Sky Sports viewers.

It propelled the Rapids to 190-6 in their 20 overs after electing to bat – and Yorkshire never threatened to overhaul that total.

The Rapids have now won FIVE successive away matches in the competition – against the 2013 holders Northamptonshire plus at four Test playing counties in Durham, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and now the Tykes.

While a top two spot will ensure a money-spinning home tie, the Rapids have shown they are more than capable of toppling the 'big guns' on their own ground should they end up with away tie.

From the moment he went to the wicket at 63-4 in the 10th over, Whiteley started clearing the ropes.

He shared in a stand of 61 in 6.2 overs with skipper Daryl Mitchell who held the first half of the innings together.

When the opener was dismissed for 49 off 45 balls with five fours, the Rapids were 124-5 at the end of the 16th over.

Whiteley went to his 50 off 24 balls with six sixes and, after Ben Cox fell to the first ball of the 19th over from Liam Plunkett, the former Derbyshire all-rounder hit three sixes during the remainder of an over which cost 23 runs.

Two more boundary clearances came in the final over from Matthew Fisher which yielded15 more runs.

There had been little indication of the carnage to come with Richard Oliver, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Colin Munro and Brett D'Oliveira all falling relatively cheaply while Mitchell kept the scoreboard ticking over at the other end.

Yorkshire began their reply as if they meant business as Alex Lees (20) collected two sixes off Jack Shantry and he and captain Andrew Gale (24) scored 27 in three overs before the rot set in for the home side.

Lees was first to go, caught by Shantry off the wily Saeed Ajmal, and from that point on they were never in the hunt.

The game was as good as over when they slumped from 60 for two to 60 for five in the space of five balls, including the vital wicket of Australian Glenn Maxwell who drove his first ball from D'Oliveira straight to Kohler-Cadmore at long-off.

D'Oliveira continued his fine form in the competition with three for 29 off his four overs while Shantry (2-26 in four) and Ajmal (2-21 in four) also returned excellent figures as Yorkshire were dismissed for 117 in 17 overs.