Partners in crime magic from Kervezee and D’Oliveira helps Rapids wipe out the Vikings

When Diane Keaton, playing the role of Erica, was put through the wringer by Jack Nicholson (Harry) in Something’s Gotta Give, everybody who laid their eyes on the big screen felt the emotional roller-coaster she was on.

Her suppression was so much that she was forced to forget the deeds of her supposed lover.

From time-to-time, sport serves up a genesis, emotional in its own right for the ones who are attached to it, that deliver. This meeting between Yorkshire Vikings and hosts Worcestershire Rapids was of such a genesis on a statistical standpoint.

Vikings haven’t lost on a Thursday evening for a long period while Rapids were unbeaten at home to the county champions. It was as if Nancy Meyers in 2003, the director of Something’s Gotta Give, was privileged with a time machine to be at New Road in 2016.

It was the Rapids who kept their record intact, also remaining unbeaten in Natwest T20 Blast this year after this unforced seven wicket victory. Alexei Kervezee (52 off 37 balls) and Brett D’Oliveira (34 off 20 balls) worked their magic as they did last week against Birmingham Bears to guide the hosts to 173 with no sweat in sight.

Kervezee’s adventurous Dutch roots were out early when he saw Adil Rashid was compassionate towards curator Tim Packwood’s surface for the day floating the ball up.

He drove Rashid over cover couple of times to get into the groove and along with Joe Clarke (34 off 23 balls), who was also at his artistic best, set the foundation with a 50-run stand for the third wicket.

After Clarke’s departure, D’Oliveira and Kervezee batted as if they knew chapter and verse and reached the target with five balls remaining in the locker.

Early on, Worcestershire kept a lid on the Vikings, who opted to bat. Their start was of garden variety, no-one managing to find the long grass on a beautiful sun-lit evening at New Road.

Alex Lees tried but their weaknesses in this format were there to see. David Willey opened but never got going, eventually castled by Ed Barnard who bowled with the precision of a surgeon.

Joe Leach used the bouncer to slave’s efficiency grabbing three wickets in the middle overs which cramped Vikings of any momentum. They were as if guests on a buffet, but prescribed for dieting.

It wouldn’t have been that much if not for a late bandit act by England old guards Liam Plunkett (34 off 10 balls) and Tim Bresnan (29 off 12 balls) who plundered 61 off the final 18 balls.

This had no PG rating, unlike Meyers film, as they hit the airwaves with Barnard the main casualty. His final over nearly went for 30 runs and a game that had salvation-army effect written all over it suddenly turned into a serious war.

However, Kervezee and D’Oliveira knew what to do and that was all it took to hand Vikings’ their first undeserved beer on a Thursday night in many a moons.

Man of The Match: Alexei Kervezee. He measured the chase superbly, acting out of violence only when it was needed. This was a far cry to his earlier days when he used his aggression take the better of him. Maturity has certainly said hello to him.


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