SKIPPER Ben Cox praised the ‘immense character’ shown by Worcestershire Rapids after back-to- back wins propelled them into the top four of the Vitality Blast north group.
The Rapids bounced back in style from defeats away to Notts Outlaws and Yorkshire Vikings to overpower Durham and Leicestershire Foxes at New Road and delight members and supporters.
They have moved onto 10 points from nine games and climbed above Birmingham Bears and Lancashire Lightning in the race to secure one of the quarter-final spots. Trips to the Lightning and Derbyshire Falcons lie ahead this week as the Rapids seek to make the knockout phases for the third time in four seasons.
“We touched on it in the dressing room, the character shown. We had two tough losses away from home, and then to come back and do what we’ve done is a huge credit to the whole side,” Cox said.
“We are fourth, three points off the top. We are right back in the mix, and we are going to take huge confidence from this.
“It is all about momentum. To get the two wins out of two is huge for us. The confidence just keeps growing, and we will take that into the Lancashire game on Thursday (July 1)
“It is a case now of embracing that momentum and kicking on in the back end of the tournament.
“It could have been a long week, but we have turned it around, and the lads stood up, and we have shown some immense character there.”
The Rapids produced an excellent bowling performance against the Foxes in restricting them to 156-7, with new ball duo Dillon Pennington and Ben Dwarshuis having combined figures of 4-43 from their eight overs.
Then Brett D’Oliveira (69) – setting a new career-best score for the second time in 48 hours – and Riki Wessels (46) laid the foundations for victory with a stand of 103 – the best ever for any wicket against Leicestershire in T20 cricket.
Cox said: “Credit to the boys batting there (D’Oliveira and Wessels). Again, like the other night (against Durham) we felt we had things in control the whole time.
“Riki and Brett played exceptionally well. They took on the responsibility. They were calm, and they took calculated risks throughout, which kept us up with the rate.
“Dillon has bowled exceptionally well. He should have five wickets against Yorkshire before conceding a run.
“It is quite remarkable. He is quite awkward to face because it is hustle, bustle and he hits a good length at a good pace.
“He has taken an opportunity. He has been one of our best bowlers in red-ball cricket, and he has taken that confidence and skill into the white ball team and taken his opportunity with both hands.”