CRICKET: Rapids batting hero Kashif hails 'perfect weekend' - The Worcester Observer

CRICKET: Rapids batting hero Kashif hails 'perfect weekend'

Worcester Editorial 30th May, 2023   0

BIG-HITTING Kashif Ali said he experienced ‘the perfect weekend’ after helping Worcestershire Rapids maintain their 100 per cent winning start in the Vitality Blast.

Kashif top-scored with 69 off just 44 balls as he played a key role in the Rapids recovering from 30-3 to reach a total of 183-7 and then restricting Leicestershire to 150-9 to win by 33 runs.

Victory was the Rapids’ third in a row following Friday’s dramatic last-over heroics from Adam Finch who smashed three sixes in the final over from Matthew Fisher for a two-wicket win over Yorkshire Vikings.

It followed on from Kashif’s favourite football team Luton Town defeating Coventry City on penalties in the play-off final to gain promotion to the Premier League for the 2023-2024 season.

Kashif said: “There is a good feeling in the dressing room, and the boys are buzzing, and I enjoyed that today.

“It’s one of those days when it came off for me.

“But the mindset for everyone is to be positive, look to score boundaries but be sensible with it as well.

“When we lost a wicket, the aim was just to rebuild for a little bit, assess which way (total) to target and then go for there.

“The pitch was one of those wickets where you had to assess and pick your options, and we succeeded.

“Knocks from Ben Cox and Usama (Mir) to get the team to 180 odd was really helpful, and then the bowlers did a great job.”

Kashif added: “For me, it was the perfect weekend, and Luton winning was great as well.

“The atmosphere was great at Wembley and here again today. It was the perfect weekend.

“I’ve followed Luton for a long time, and I go and watch them when I get the chance, although a lot of the time I’m up and down playing cricket or training.”

Kashif paid tribute to Usama Mir whose three-game spell at New Road ended with another important contribution with bat and ball.

He said: “Usama is a Pakistan superstar. The way he has played these three games has been really good, and the boys loved having him here.

“It’s always handy having someone like him in the team whether it is with bat or ball.

“I know he wanted to play county cricket and he has made a big impact.”

A trip to Trent Bridge awaits the unbeaten Rapids on Friday (June 2) to tackle the Notts Outlaws before the Rapids return to New Road on Sunday (June 4) for the reverse fixture with the Northants Steelbacks.

Assistant head coach Kadeer Ali said players fed off the ‘great backing’ they received from supporters during Friday’s dramatic win over the Vikings.

“It makes such a big difference. The lads really buzz off it, and the boys really love playing at New Road and having such great backing,” he said.

“It is always good to start campaigns positively. There is a real nice atmosphere in the changing room, morale is high, and we are looking forward to the next game now.”

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