CRICKET - Worcestershire Rapids suffer dramatic final over defeat against Lancashire in T20 Blast - The Worcester Observer

CRICKET - Worcestershire Rapids suffer dramatic final over defeat against Lancashire in T20 Blast

Aaron Sutcliffe 8th Jul, 2024 Updated: 9th Jul, 2024   0

WORCESTERSHIRE Rapids suffered a dramatic two-wicket defeat against Lancashire Lightning with one ball to spare in their latest T20 Blast outing.

Despite a maiden Rapids half-century from Josh Cobb and posting their highest Blast score of the season, Worcestershire fell just short in their pursuit of a third T20 win of the season.

Lightning’s Tom Bruce (50 not out) guided the home side to victory at Old Trafford with just one ball to spare to leave Worcestershire bottom of the T20 Blast North Group standings.

Cobb said: “We played some good cricket in that game and we were still in with a shout going into the last over, so to lose with a ball to spare is obviously bitterly disappointing.

“You look back to the Northants game when Gareth Roderick could have got us over the line and then potentially me at Leicestershire and, if we’d won those close ones, things look a little different.

“The dressing room becomes a little more confident and that filters through. On the other hand, if you then get well-beaten in a game, you’re a long way behind the eight ball.

“But that’s been the story of the season. We’ve not been winning those close games and in a competition like this, they’re the ones you have to win.

“I’ve been disappointed with my own form, I’ve not got going with the bat, so it was nice to get some runs today. I felt 180 was a good score.

“The pitch called for good strong cricket shots but once you’ve faced a few balls, you revert to slogging and once I’d got used to the pitch everything became a little bit easier.”

Put into bat, the Rapids lost opener Brett D’Oliveira (7) as he gloved a Saqib Mahmood (2-30) delivery on the on side to wicketkeeper Matty Hurst.

Fellow opener Kashif Ali (16) hit Mahmood for six over mid wicket but the next ball aimed another blow on the leg side and mis-timed a catch to mid off in the fourth over.

Rapids wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick (26) quickly found his stride with a ramp shot for six and produced another maximum before Chris Green (2-33) trapped him LBW.

However, Cobb (74) continued to frustrate the Lightning bowlers and completed a 40-ball half-century with a boundary after putting on 57 runs with Roderick before the latter departed.

Cobb’s superb knock eventually came to an end when he was caught off the bowling of Green.

However, Adam Hose (45 not out) hit three fours and three sixes to help the Rapids reach 181-4 at the end of their 20 overs.

And Worcestershire made the perfect start in reply as Tom Taylor (1-41) removed opener Luke Wells (1) in the first over before Matthew Waite (3-19) accounted for Matthew Hurst (4).

A fine piece of fielding from former Lancashire player Rob Jones broke a fine partnership between George Lavelle (20) and Keaton Jennings (41) as Jones ran out the former with a direct hit.

Rapids bowler Hayden Walsh (1-27) came into the attack and took the crucial wicket of Jennings with a fine delivery which hit the top of off stump.

And D’Oliveira then clung onto a stinging catch at short extra cover to dismiss Steven Croft (16) off the bowling of Ethan Brookes (2-29).

Brookes struck again to remove Green (24) in the 18th over only for incoming batter Tom Hartley (18) to hit consecutive sixes from his first two deliveries.

Waite had Hartley caught in the penultimate over and then bowled Tom Aspinwall (0) for a duck to leave Lightning needing 11 runs from the final over.

Taylor conceded just five runs from the first four deliveries only for Luke Wood (9 not out) to hit a six with the penultimate ball of the match.

Worcestershire continue their T20 Blast campaign against Leicestershire Foxes on Thursday, July 11 with the game to begin at 5.30pm at New Road.

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