Friday, July 25th, 2014

Whiteley Six Hitting Bonanza Powers Rapids Towards T20 Blast Quarter-Finals

Whiteley Six Hitting Bonanza Powers Rapids Towards T20 Blast Quarter-Finals

Ross Whiteley produced an amazing display of six-hitting as Worcestershire Rapids clinched their place in the quarter-finals of the NatWest T20 Blast with a 28 run victory over Derbyshire Falcons at New Road.

The former Derbyshire all-rounder smashed an unbeaten 84 off just 38 balls with nine sixes and two fours as the Rapids amassed 209-4 in their 20 overs.

It was Whiteley's highest score for the county since making the move from Derbyshire 12 months ago.

He was well supported by skipper Daryl Mitchell, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Ben Cox after Derbyshire had opted to put the Rapids into bat.

Then a four wicket burst in three overs from Jack Shantry and Joe Leach ended Derbyshire's hopes after they had made a brave pursuit of their formidable target.

Mitchell set the tone from the start of the innings as he continued his excellent form in all competitions with a flurry of boundaries including three in an over from Ben Cotton.

Richard Oliver (8) was dismissed with 38 on the board when he sliced Matt Higginbottom to cover.

Mitchell raced to 36 off 19 deliveries with six fours before he pulled Cotton into the hands of mid-wicket with the total on 49.

Colin Munro maintained the tempo with three successive fours off Greg Cork before he tried to reverse sweep Marcus North and was bowled for 16.

But that led to the arrival at the wicket of Whiteley and he set the tone for his innings with sixes over long on and square leg off Wainwright.

He had one slice of luck on 25 when he was dropped by Alex Hughes at long-off off Wes Durston before Kohler-Cadmore (22) fell from the next delivery to the same combination.

But then Whiteley displayed some awesome hitting in consistently clearing the fence with the Derbyshire attack powerless to stop his onslaught.

He received excellent support from wicket-keeper Ben Cox (29 not out) during an unbroken stand of 89 in 7.4 overs.

Derbyshire needed to score in excess of 10 an over and it was Mitchell McClenaghan who made the first breakthrough when Marcus North (18) was caught at mid off.

Then Shaaiq Choudhry accounted for Gareth Cross (34) who perished to Kohler-Cadmore at long off.

Derbyshire were actually three runs and one wicket better off than the Rapids after 10 overs – 90-2 compared to 87-3.

Mitchell dismissed Wes Durston (36) as the ball ballooned up to McClenaghan at cover.

Billy Godleman collected successive sixes off Shaaiq Choudhry to keep the Falcons in contention during a stand of 56 in 4.2 overs with Wayne Madsen.

Derbyshire required 58 off five overs but Shantry bowled an excellent 16th over in which he conceded only five runs and bowled Godleman for 26.

Then Joe Leach bowled Alex Hughes (3) and Madsen (40) in the next over to reduce Derbyshire to 162-6.

Shantry broke through again when Tom Knight (6) holed out to Kohler-Cadmore at long on as Derbyshire closed on 181-7.