ISH Sodhi celebrated his 200th T20 wicket but then heaped the praise onto fellow Worcestershire Rapids spinner Brett D’Oliveira whom he described as “the heart and soul of our dressing room.”
New Zealand star Sodhi reached the double century milestone when he dismissed Birmingham Bears opener Ed Pollock for 53 in the Rapids 49 run Vitality Blast success at New Road.
He claimed three more wickets in one over and finished with superb figures of 4-24.
But Sodhi was quick to recognise the significance of the contribution of D’Oliveira to a win which puts the Rapids three points clear of fifth-placed Durham with two games to play.
He top-scored with 45 and is the Rapids leading run-getter with 337 runs before producing a devastating spell of 3-15, and he has the best economy rate of conceding just five runs per over.
Sodhi said: “Dolly has made a massive impact with the bat, ball and in the field, but he is also just a great guy to be around.
“He is the heart and soul of our dressing room. He has got a great way about him.
“He is a very caring individual, brings a lot of positive energy, and that goes a long way on the park.
“It is great to see a guy like that do well. He gives everything to the team.”
Sodhi added: “Riki (Wessels) and Brett scoring 60 odd in that powerplay went a long way in the outcome of the game.
“It is Dolly’s first year opening the batting, and it is no mean feat playing some of the innings he has so far.
“With the ball in the middle, it was Brett who really set the tone. He came on, and Sam Hain is a phenomenal player, a great T20 player, and to get that wicket first ball of his spell again set us up really well.
“To get some wickets myself was nice as well, and I was aware that the first one was my 200th in T20 cricket.”
The Rapids totalled 174-6 with Ben Cox’s 43 giving them late momentum, and then Charlie Morris picked up two early wickets before D’Oliveira and Sodhi’s exploits with the ball sealed a fine victory.
Sodhi said: “I’ve been made well aware of the rivalry (with Birmingham) over the last couple of days.
“It could easily have been a 190 score after that powerplay, but they bowled really well in that middle period.
“We managed to get a score on the board, 174, and Ben Cox played a great captain’s knock to give us that bit of injection at the end there.
“The two balls in the last over he hit for six and four; looking back, if you are chasing 164 as opposed to 174, it makes a big difference in the psyche of the batsmen.
“We played a very good game at Derby last week and scrapped 168 and still won that game by 15 runs so we always thought 174 was enough runs.
“Charlie Morris has been phenomenal for us. He keeps doing the hard jobs, bowling at the top and at the death, and he keeps taking wickets in the powerplay. That’s all you can ask for.
“Today, we got two wickets in the powerplay, nearly three, and it is often down to the way Charlie has been bowling.
“To get the points on the board is fantastic for us. It goes a long way for us in the tournament.”