Alex Wakely’s second half-century in four 2018 Vitality Blast innings was not enough to stop Worcestershire Rapids continuing their unbeaten start to the Twenty20 campaign.
Wakely got his 54 in just 21 balls at the end of the Steelbacks’ innings at New Road, but the game had long gone before the visiting captain hit the milestone.
That was because home bowler Dillon Pennington put in a man-of-the-match performance with just two overs with ball in hand, showing that you do not need to be in the action for long to have a massive impact on a contest.
After getting the wickets of Ben Duckett and Josh Cobb for both 0 in the first over Pennington went on to emulate the feat in his second, Richard Levi (14) and Steven Crook (0) also falling cheaply.
Pennington ended with figures of 4-9 from his two overs and had ripped through the Steelbacks’ batting line-up in the process. Ricardo Vasconcelos did join Wakely for a stand of 54, but by then it was too little, too late.
Rain delayed the start of play at New Road, with the match restricted to nine overs per side.
Wakely put Worcestershire in to bat, and the Steelbacks’ bowlers quickly found themselves on the back foot as Rapids batsmen Joe Clarke (28 from 13 balls), Travis Head (37 off 14) and Ross Whiteley (36 off 15 not out) took their side to 130-3 from their innings.
Then once Pennington struck the challenging task became increasingly difficult, and ultimately insurmountable.