Vitality Blast Finals Day Preview: Worcestershire Rapids

Vitality Blast Finals Day Preview: Worcestershire Rapids

Worcestershire Rapids will appear at their first Finals Day © Luke Adams

 

Worcestershire players had to watch with envy on Thursday, as Surrey celebrated securing the County Championship title at New Road. However they may yet have an opportunity to enjoy a success of their own on Saturday, as they make the short journey to Edgbaston for their maiden Finals Day.

The Rapids topped the North Group, finishing ahead of semi-final opponents Lancashire, while also defeating the Lightning at Old Trafford in the one game completed between the sides.

So it is a tad surprising that the bookies have installed them as 3/1 outsiders to be winners on the day.

Perhaps they do not possess the canny spinners of Lancashire, the big hitters of Somerset or Sussex’s scary pace attack.

Though that is the exact strength of this Worcestershire side, other than Moeen Ali they lack any real big names but crucially every player knows their role and is capable of a game-changing contribution.

Joe Clarke’s 76 was the difference in a low scoring win over Derbyshire, as was Dillon Pennington’s 4-9 against Northants. No player in this team is a passenger.

Some credit must also go to head coach Kevin Sharp for his excellent recruitment. All four of his overseas signings have made an impact throughout the tournament. Callum Ferguson’s 64 not out in the quarter-final win over Gloucestershire is an innings which will live long in the memory.

A loan deal for Nottinghamshire bowler Luke Wood has also proved a great piece of business, his availability for Finals Day a huge boost for the county.

Finals Day is all about who can perform on the day, anything that has happened before it is almost irrelevant. You need everything to come together, and this Worcestershire side have all the ingredients for that to do so. Underestimate them at your peril.

Player of the tournament

Choosing a standout player is a difficult task as many of the Worcestershire squad have enjoyed a wonderful tournament.

But 20-year-old Patrick Brown has been the most consistent performer. The young bowler has taken 27 wickets in 14 matches, the most in the entire competition. His figures are all the more impressive as Brown only made his first team debut back in 2017.

Finals Day is the perfect opportunity for Brown to showcase his talents and he already has fond memories of playing at Edgbaston, finishing with 2-23 in Worcestershire’s win over rivals Warwickshire at the ground last month.

Top Run-scorer: Callum Ferguson – 395 runs.

Most Wickets: Patrick Brown – 27 wickets.

Road to Finals Day

The Rapids finished first in the North Group after winning nine matches. They then defeated Gloucestershire at New Road in the quarter-finals, chasing down a target of 137.

View from the stands

Worcestershire fan Lindsay Clayton: “We have been very good in white-ball cricket for the last two seasons, so reaching Finals Day for the first time in the county’s history is reward for so much hard work and underpins the progression that the county has made.”

Squad
TBA

Date: Saturday 15th September
Time: 11am
Ground: Edgbaston
Odds: 3/1 to win the tournament

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