CRICKET: Richo - We should be proud despite last-eight heartache - The Evesham Observer

CRICKET: Richo - We should be proud despite last-eight heartache

Evesham Editorial 14th Jul, 2023   0

RAPIDS chief Alan Richardson said his squad should take ‘great pride’ after reaching an eighth Vitality Blast quarter-final in 20 years.

The Rapids went down by five wickets to Hampshire Hawks at the Ageas Bowl in the last eight after being bowled out for just 100 on a pitch not ideal for stroke-play.

But the 2018 winners made the reigning champions work hard for their victory.

Richardson said: “It has been a tremendous campaign. The boys won’t see that at the moment, I’m sure, because we are terribly disappointed we haven’t performed to give ourselves a chance of winning the game.

“But they should take great pride from how well they have gone about the whole group stage to give ourselves a chance to be in a quarter-final.

“We obviously didn’t get off to the best start so, for us to get any sort of score was an achievement and maybe 20-30 more runs would have made a real fist of it.

“If nothing else, we know the Worcestershire boys fight. We showed a hell of a lot of spirit.

“Usama (Mir) and Pol (Ed Pollock) showed great skill to put on 70 which was fantastic under the pressure.

“As a unit, the batting group have been fantastic throughout the tournament. It didn’t quite come off today.

“We were always behind the game and needed to get 140-150 and we just didn’t give ourselves a chance to do that.”

Richardson paid tribute to the efforts of Pakistan star Mir and New Zealander batsman/spinner Mitchell Santner throughout the T20 tournament.

He said: “Usama has been great around the group and fitted in brilliantly well. It feels like he has been here forever to be honest and the skills he has shown on the pitch have been fantastic, not only with the ball but with the bat.

“Throughout the tournament, whenever we needed him to step up and score at a rate and get us up to a competitive total he has done that. It has been great to have him around and hopefully we will see him again.

“Mitchell finished the group stages so strongly and has fitted in brilliantly well.

“It is not the first time he has been here but it is a slightly different group of players but he has been brilliant, such a calming influence.

“I don’t think his heart rate ever gets above 40 beats a minute if I’m honest!

“All facets of the game, bat, ball and in the field, he has been tremendous. We have been lucky to have him, Usama and Michael (Bracewell) around us for this campaign.”

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