RAPIDS chief Alex Gidman has delivered a rallying call to his charges to continue their improvements in this year’s Vitality Blast ahead of a crunch 48 hours for last year’s champions.
A visit from former Pear Joe Clarke and his Nottinghamshire Outlaws awaits this evening (Wednesday) before the Rapids close the north group with a trip to Northamptonshire Steelbacks on Friday.
One victory will ensure qualification for the quarter-finals and two wins will guarantee a top two spot alongside Lancashire Lightning and a financially rewarding home tie.
An impressive win at Birmingham Bears on Friday evening was followed by defeat to Lancashire Lightning on Sunday.
While Derbyshire Falcons’ surprise victory over the Lightning on Monday relegated the Rapids to fourth in the group, Moeen Ali’s men know two wins from two will seal second spot.
Gidman said: “I haven’t really looked at the fixtures and potential results and we will just focus on what we need to do to try and get a little bit better for Wednesday and hopefully give those guys a good game and see where it takes us.
“We are a confident bunch and one of the great strengths about this group is we are always honest about what we can do better and try to do better.”
The Rapids boss said he felt his side had improved over the campaign and had not yet reached their full potential in the tournament.
“From the club’s point of view, with the difficulty we’ve had this season with the weather (floods) and what have you, it will be great to get a home quarter-final,” he said.
“From my point of view, it’s about trying to win as many games as we can for Worcestershire and trying to defend our title, give it as good a shot as we possibly can.
“I actually think we’ve improved this year when you consider the injuries, the fact we’ve had three red ball games in between T20 games, three different captains and two games without an out and out spinner in what has been traditionally a format that suited spin.
“As a result I think it has been an outstanding effort to get this far. I believe the best is still to come from this team in this competition and hopefully we are in good stead to finish the competition strongly,” Gidman added.
Any potential quarter final will be played on a date to be confirmed from next Wednesday (September 4) to Saturday (September 7) and be broadcast on Sky Sports.