Friday night sees one of the form teams in 2018 come to the County Ground. Let’s run the rule over our visitors from Worcestershire.
The Rapids have had a superb season in white ball cricket so far, reaching the semi-finals of the Royal London One Day Cup before winning their first four Vitality Blast matches. Successive losses to Yorkshire Vikings and Durham Jets have taken some of the gloss from the Rapids’ Twenty20 campaign but they are nevertheless well in the mix for a quarter final spot, which would match their best performance in the competition’s history.
OVERSEAS PLAYERS Martin Guptill, Travis Head, Callum Ferguson
BIG HITTER Ross Whiteley
The left hander last summer became the first ever Englishman to score six sixes in an over in ANY format of the game in a Blast match against Yorkshire’s left arm spinner Karl Carver at Headingley. That kind of power-hitting helped earn Whiteley a lucrative winter playing in the Bangladesh Premier League, the inaugural T10 tournament in Sharjah and the Pakistan Super League. Whiteley feels he has learnt from those experiences and on his day is one of the most destructive batsmen in Blast and all white ball cricket.
KEY BOWLER Brett D’Oliveira
In white ball cricket D’Oliveira is a key component of the Worcestershire attack. He has developed into one of the most economical bowlers in Blast cricket in recent seasons and gone toe to toe with fellow spinners Saeed Ajmal and Mitchell Santner during their spells at Blackfinch New Road. Harnessed to his own destructive hitting, D’Oliveira will have a key role in all facets of the game if the Rapids are to make a first finals day appearance.
WILD CARD Martin Guptill
The New Zealand batsman is with the Rapids for the first eight games of the Blast and, if on song, will add even more fire-power to an impressive looking line-up. Guptill can take any attack apart on his day and, with the likes of Travis Head, Callum Ferguson, Joe Clarke and Ross Whiteley for company, the Rapids batting line-up represents their best chance of qualifying from the North Group. Head, who captained the Adelaide Strikers to the Big Bash title this year, and his fellow Aussie Ferguson, who hit the County’s highest List A score of 192 in the Royal London One-Day Cup, could also entertain Rapids fans if they fire on all cylinders.
The Vitality Blast is a great day for all the family, with matches lasting around three hours and simple to follow Twenty20 action.
By booking in advance you can save £5 on individual tickets compared to the match day price (£10 saving for Family tickets).
CLICK HERE to order tickets for Steelbacks v Worcestershire Rapids