CRICKET: Richo: We’re flying high for last-eight Hawks test - The Evesham Observer

CRICKET: Richo: We’re flying high for last-eight Hawks test

Evesham Editorial 5th Jul, 2023 Updated: 5th Jul, 2023   0

ALAN Richardson praised ‘sensational’ Mitchell Santner and the Rapids players for handling the pressure as they clinched a Vitality Blast quarter-final spot.

The Rapids will face holders Hampshire Hawks at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Friday (July 7) after overcoming hosts Derbyshire Falcons by 28 runs at the Incora County Ground.

Victory would take Richardson’s men to Finals Day at Edgbaston and comes after the Rapids won eight and tying one of their 14 T20 matches to finish third in the North Group.

Santner again showed his class with a top score of 64, including four successive sixes, in the Rapids total of 222-6 against Derbyshire.

He then returned 1-28 with his left arm spin as the Falcons were bowled out for 194. Usama Mir and Pat Brown both took three wickets each.

Head coach Richardson said: “It was an outstanding win, under a lot of pressure with it being a knock-out game to finish the group stage.

“I thought the boys handled it brilliantly well and played with real intent to put a performance together to give ourselves a chance to win which we did, so I’m very happy.

“I think Brett (D’Oliveira) led from the front really well and played with real intent to get us off to a good start.

“He’s been great throughout the tournament and in the last three or four games he’s been absolutely sensational with bat, ball and in the field and showed his class.

“He’s been great around the boys, they’re learning lots from him and he’s putting in match-winning performances.”

Although the underdogs at Hampshire, should the Rapids emerge from their last-eight clash win a win, the club will return to Finals Day for the first time since the 2019 final defeat to the Essex Eagles.

Richardson said: “Ultimately we want to win every competition we are in.

“We know it is very difficult but with white ball cricket it is about first getting through the qualifiers which was a huge ask for us, especially after last year when we didn’t perform anywhere near where we can.

“We should take great pride and heart in it but Dolly just said this is the first part of the journey towards trying to win the trophy.”

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