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.