STEVE Rhodes has urged his Worcestershire Rapids side to “lick their wounds, brush themselves down and fight back” after suffering a crushing five-wicket defeat to Birmingham Bears in the NatWest T20 Blast derby at Edgbaston.
Director of Cricket Rhodes said he saw some “very good things” in the Rapids performance in front of a 12,000 plus crowd on Friday night.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore hit his maiden half century in T20 cricket while spinner Saeed Ajmal returned 3-17 from four overs in his final appearance in the competition this season.
But Birmingham skipper Varun Chopra’s composed 74 saw his side chase down the target of 176 with four balls to spare.
Rhodes said: “I thought there were some very good things about Worcestershire. I thought the batting was good.
“Tom Kohler-Cadmore at the age of 19 playing in front of a big crowd, on a big stage, a Test ground, against a good attack, to play like the way he did was outstanding.
“At 19, what a bright prospect he is. If he keeps his head screwed on and carries on progressng, then there is a really, really exciting cricketer there. I thought his innings was excellent.
“We lost our way slightly just before the last five overs and that meant we just had to tick along and make sure we had a few wickets in hand so we could maximise those last four or five overs.
“I’ve got to say I thought things didn’t quite go our way in the field. The ball was just eluding our fielders and when it went up in the air, it was just out of reach and very frustrating.
“All credit to Warwickshire and particular Varun Chopra who played an outstanding innings in chasing a score down. He kept a cool head and it was a mature innings.
“It was a good game of cricket, not quite there for Worcestershire, and we were just second best.”
“You look at Saeed Ajmal’s figures again, incredible, and he bowled beautifully and he had three wickets and could easily have had another couple.
“He was outstanding but again we’ve got to lick our wounds and brush ourselves down and fight back now.”
The focus now shifts to the remaining two North Group matches against Northamptonshire Steelbacks and Derbyshire Falcons with two victories guaranteeing a place in the quarter-finals.
“We’ve got a crucial couple of games going forward but the pleasing thing is we’ve played a game where we’ve batted well,” Rhodes added.
“We could have bowled better. I thought the spinners did a good job, we fielded pretty well so we’ve given it a good crack.
“We lost to a side that also played very well. That’s cricket, they are allowed to play well, and you take it on the chin and say well done and move on.
“We’ve got a couple of games where we’ve got to make sure we qualify.”