Vitality Blast
Fri 9 July, 17:30

New Road, Worcester

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Worcestershire Rapids

Worcestershire Rapids

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Worcestershire Rapids

Bears

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Blast Report: Rapids v Bears

The Bears must win both their remaining Vitality Blast games to stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals following a 49-run defeat to Worcestershire Rapids at New Road. 

A heavily depleted Bears bowling unit did well to restrict the Rapids to 174 for six with a gutsy bowling display led by captain Will Rhodes with a T20-best four for 34. 

That total looked no more than par on a good batting wicket but the Bears then faltered to 125 all out with only Ed Pollock (53 from 34 balls with four fours and three sixes) passing 20.  

The planned debut of new signing Kyle Mayers was delayed after he was ruled out by Covid protocol, so he joined an absentee list already including Carlos Brathwaite, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Henry Brookes, Olly Hannon-Dalby, Dan Mousley, Olly Stone and Chris Woakes. 

After the Rapids chose to bat, the Bears’ opened the bowling with two young players – Jacob Bethell and Rob Yates – who had previously delivered a combined four T20 overs between them. Both stood up to the challenge well with Yates, on his first T20 bowl, registering highly respectable figures of 3-0-26-0. 

A dangerous opening stand of 70 in seven overs was broken when Rhodes bowled Rikki Wessels (35, 25 balls) and the skipper then removed Brett D’Oliveira (45, 25 balls), caught at deep mid-wicket by Adam Hose. 

Ryan Sidebottom took a super catch at deep square to oust Jake Libby off Craig Miles and Sidebottom and Miles then shattered the stumps of Ross Whiteley and Ed Barnard respectively as the Bears stuck at it really well.  

Ben Cox’s belligerent 43 (28 balls) was ended by a calm catch by Sam Hain, at mid off Rhodes, and the Rapids came in at about par.  

The Bears’ reply was pretty much a one-man effort as only Pollock passed 20. After Adam Hose and Rhodes were bowled by Charlie Morris, third-wicket pair Pollock and Hain took the score to a promising 81 for two from ten overs, but then D’Oliveira came on for the 11th over and took three wickets in his first nine balls. 

Hain charged and missed, Matt Lamb was stumped and Michael Burgess was bowled to leave the Bears on 91 for five. When Pollock, having reached a 34-ball half-century with four fours and three sixes, sent up a skier off Ish Sodhi, the lower order was left with a mountainous task that was far beyond it. 

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Blast Preview: Rapids v Bears

West Indian all-rounder Kyle Mayers will relish the pressure of a derby debut when the Bears face Worcestershire Rapids in a crucial Blast fixture at New Road on Friday night (5.30pm).

Windies international Mayers has been recruited to reinforce a Bears squad ravaged by international calls, injuries and Covid, with the latter ruling out Mayers’ countryman Carlos Brathwaite again tomorrow.

Brathwaite will be back for the last two group matches next weekend. In the meantime, 28-year-old Mayers, whose last competitive cricket was a Test match against South Africa in the Caribbean in June,  is mustard keen to help fire the Bears to victory tomorrow to boost their bid for qualification.

“The coaches have told me all about the rivalry with the Rapids and what a big game it is for the fans and the players, so I am really looking forward to that challenge,” he said. “Any pressure situation is good because it is always a great feeling to help get your team across the line.

“Pressure is nothing new to me. You just have to absorb it and play as good as cricket as possible. I am really looking forward to the game. It will be a great experience for me and I haven’t played cricket in front of fans for a while so that will be really good.”

Kyle Mayers

A left-handed batsman and right-arm medium pace bowler, Mayers brings to the Bears experience from playing for the West indies in all formats. His Test career started in sensational style last February when he scored a stunning unbeaten 210 (310 balls, 20 fours, seven sixes) as West Indies chased down 395 to beat Bangladesh by three wickets at Chattogram.

He would love to make a similar impact on his Bears debut tomorrow.

“I am really excited to be here,” he said. “Any opportunity to play cricket in England is a good one. I was here as a reserve last time West Indies came to play in England and really enjoyed my time in the country. I always wanted to come back and really see what living in England is all about.

“It has been great so far and I really appreciate this opportunity with the Bears. I had a good net with the batting coach and the bowling coach the first day I arrived before the rain came! The last game I played was in a Test series so it was good to knock off some dust and I just can’t wait for the games to arrive.

“Any chance I get to be involved, whether it is with the ball or the bat, I will be looking to take it. I want to make this most of this opportunity.”

Squad

Will Rhodes (c), Jacob Bethell, Ethan Brookes, Michael Burgess (wk), Sam Hain, Adam Hose, Matt Lamb, Jake Lintott, Kyle Mayers, Craig Miles, Ed Pollock, Ryan Sidebottom, Rob Yates.

How to follow

Warwickshire Members and supporters will be able to follow all the action via the Match Centre on edgbaston.com and through the Edgbaston app (available for free on iOS and Android).

Supporters can also keep up to date with the scores and in-play clips through the Match Centre on edgbaston.com

#GameOn – T20 tickets on sale now

We’re bringing summer back! So get back together and experience the thrill of a Bears game this June and July.

Adult tickets are available from only £19, while under 16s go FREE to all matches

Tickets

Bears Blast Best: Worcestershire Rapids

The Bears go head-to-head with West Midlands rivals Worcestershire Rapids on Friday night in a bid to retain the Norman Gifford Trophy.

Brian Halford looks at the best performances from the Bears against our nearest rivals, dating back to the start of the T20 Cup in 2003.

Best Innings – 89

Nick Knight (Worcester, 2003)

On June 18, 2003, the Bears and the Rapids met for the first time in T20. The historic day was graced by an innings which remains, nearly 20 years later, the best by a Bear against their old rivals in the format.

Nick Knight, one of the best ODI batsmen in the world, showed immediately that he could switch to the shortest format and play with just as much skill and effectiveness. After winning the toss and choosing to bat, he faced the first ball in a T20 derby at New Road, from Matt Mason, and went on to underpin the innings with a glorious 89 from 58 balls with nine fours and three sixes.

The elegant left-hander was closing in on a century with three overs to spare when he fell, stumped off Gareth Batty, but had done more than enough to set up a win for his team.

The Bears made 175 (no one else reached 20) then restricted the Rapids to 155 for five thanks to a brilliant spell from Neil Carter (4-0-19-3), supported by wickets too for Waqar Younis, Neil Smith and Ian Bell.

Best Bowling – 5/19

Neil Carter (Edgbaston, 2005)

July 1, 2005, delivered one of the great T20 tussles between the Bears and the Rapids.

The visitors won by one run inside a packed Edgbaston. It was a magnificent match which left the stadium buzzing after Heath Streak had very nearly managed to hit 20 from the last three balls (with a no ball thrown in!) to steal victory for the Bears.

And earlier in the evening, ‘Carts’ had produced bowling figures which remain the Bears’ best in the Blast…against the Rapids or anyone else.

After the Rapids chose to bat, Streak quickly took out danger man Graeme Hick, caught by wicketkeeper Stuart Eustace. Several Rapids batters made starts but progressed little further…and then Carter got among the middle order.

With fast, accurate swing bowling, the left-armer took down Stephen Peters and David Leatherdale just as they were starting to threaten. The Rapids needed some late impetus, but were denied it as Carter dismissed David Pipe, Daryl Mitchell and Nadeem Malik to finish with figures of 3.5-0-19-5.

Carter’s superb work sent the Rapids all out for 141, a target to which he then gave the Bears a lively launch with 17 from six balls. An truly amazing match then unfolded as the Bears lurched to 81 for nine before Streak (59 from 32 balls) and Jimmy Anyon (eight not out from 14) added 59 before Streak was run out off the last ball going for a second run that would have won the game.

Quite a game and Carts’ record still stands!

#GameOn – T20 tickets on sale now

We’re bringing summer back! So get back together and experience the thrill of a Bears game this June and July.

Adult tickets are available from only £19, while under 16s go FREE to all matches

Tickets

Live scorecard

The match live scorecard will appear here once the match is in play.

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