Friday, May 31st, 2024

Worcestershire Rapids defeat Lancashire Lightning | Highlights & report

Worcestershire Rapids Club captain, Brett D’Oliveira, played a major role with his half century in securing a last over five wicket win over Lancashire Lightning in the Vitality Blast at Visit Worcestershire New Road.

D’Oliveira hit a fine 61 off 47 balls with seven fours as Worcestershire chased down a 170 target with three balls to spare.

But it was an excellent team performance that enabled the Rapids to bounce back from Thursday evening’s setback against Yorkshire at Headingley.

Nathan Smith gave Worcestershire the perfect start with the ball as Lancashire lost early wickets and spinners Hayden Walsh and D’Oliveira kept the visitors in check through the middle overs.

When Worcestershire batted, Matthew Waite gave D’Oliveira excellent support in an opening half century stand.

Adam Hose  gave the innings momentum with 23 including three sixes and there were other important contributions from Josh Cobb, Ethan Brookes, Ed Pollock and Tom Taylor to seal victory.

Both sides named unchanged line-ups with new Rapids vice-captain, Hose, having recovered from a hamstring niggle.

The game got off to a dramatic start with Nathan Smith registering a double wicket maiden during the first over.

The third ball of the innings saw Josh Bohannon sky Smith to Finch at mid on and then the last delivery of the over saw George Bell nick through to keeper Gareth Roderick.

There was more joy for the home side as Tom Bruce drove at Taylor and lost his middle stump at 13-3.

D’Oliveira broke a half century stand between keeper Matty Hurst and Luke Wells when the latter (34) attempted a big hit and found Smith at long on.

D’Oliveira and West Indies leg spinner Walsh bowled tightly during the middle overs with Walsh conceding just 20 runs in his four overs.

Hurst pressed his foot on the accelerator in making 45 off 34 balls before he was lbw to Tom Taylor.

Then Lancashire captain Steven Croft, with a 31 ball half century, and Chris Green ensured Lancashire set a challenging target.

Smith had figures of 4-1-32-2, Taylor 3-0-47-2 and D’Oliveira 4-0-33-1.

When Worcestershire launched their reply, Waite had a let-off on three off Tom Aspinwall with George Bell spilling the chance at deep backward square leg.

After a steady start, Waite went into over-drive with four-six-four off successive balls in the fourth over from Blatherwick.

D’Oliveira then collected three boundaries in the next over from Aspinwall.

The opening stand was worth 55 before Waite was bowled for 29 off just 18 balls to the final ball of the powerplay from Mitchell Stanley.

Cobb (13) helped D’Oliveira add 29 before he picked out Croft at long off with a powerful stroke which could easily have found the boundary a yard either side of the fielder.

Hose was quickly into overdrive with successive sixes off the same bowler.

He raced to 23 off nine balls before being bowled after aiming an expansive blow on the leg side.

Former Worcestershire loanee Luke Wood then produced a superb catch at long off to account for Ethan Brookes and D’Oliveira fell on the leg side boundary off Green.

But Taylor and Ed Pollock held their nerve to see Worcestershire home.

Worcestershire Club Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, said: “On Thursday we weren’t at the races but Twenty20 takes some adjusting to.
“With the schedule it is quite hard to go from four-day cricket straight into that. However, that’s not an excuse. We just weren’t good enough last night.
“Really pleasing to come back and get a win at home. Really good team performance, especially with that run chase.
“Matthew Waite was fantastic at the top in a new role for him and the class of Adam Hose to come in and have some influence and put some impetus into the game.
“Ethan Brookes hit his second or third ball for six and was exactly the type of cricket we were looking for. We managed that chase very well.
“We got off to a great start (with the ball) and Nathan has been a hell of a signing for us and is a great cricketer and has a hell of a future ahead of him.
“He gives his best everytime he is out on the field and he is great amongst the group as well.
“At the half-way mark we were pleased. We knew it would be a tricky chase.
“We knew running hard was going to be key and trying to find those gaps and we managed to do that.”