BIG-HITTING Worcestershire Rapids face a home quarter-final in the Royal London One-Day Cup after centuries by Riki Wessels and Callum Ferguson enabled Alex Gidman’s side to chase down a 352 target against Derbyshire Falcons at the 3aaa County Ground.
The county booked a home quarter-final at Blackfinch New Road on Friday against Somerset and came close to topping the North Group for the third year running but Notts Outlaws’ one-wicket win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks means they will go straight through to the semi-finals.
Wayne Madsen and Luis Reece scored centuries for hosts Derbyshire who totalled 351-9 in Monday’s clash.
However, Wessels produced a magnificent, often brutal, display of hitting to launch the Rapids’ reply in spectacular manner in making 130 off 62 balls.
Then Ferguson ensured the Rapids capitalised on Wessels’ superb launchpad with an innings of similar quality to his 64 not out to seal victory in last summer’s Vitality Blast quarter-final against Gloucestershire.
He finished undefeated on 103 from 95 balls in a game which produced top-notch entertainment in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Wessels said: “I’ve been a bit dry for runs of late so it was quite nice to ease a bit of pressure and play freely.
“It was a good wicket, we probably dragged it back towards the end and they were maybe disappointed they didn’t get crack on and get a few more but we were happy to chase it down and hopefully there’s more to come.
“It was Fergie’s third hundred in eight games for Worcestershire. He’s a fantastic player. He only landed last week and he’s straight in with an unbeaten hundred.”
On reaching the knockout stages, Wessels said: “At this stage you want to keep playing as often as you can and you have to keep winning if you want to win tournaments, so keep them coming.”
The winners of Friday’s quarter-final tie will then travel to take on South Group winners Hampshire in the semi-finals on Sunday, with the winners advancing to a Lord’s final.