Recordo Gordon can’t wait for the start of Birmingham Bears’ home NatWest T20 Blast campaign, against arch-rivals Worcestershire Rapids on Friday May 27.
The atmosphere at Edgbaston for the local derby is always “absolutely electric,” says the Birmingham-born seamer, who experienced it from the middle for the first time last season – and rose to the occasion with a match-winning performance.
As a bowler you are always under pressure but I love thatRecordo Gordon
The 24-year-old finished as the Bears’ leading T20 wicket-taker in 2015 with 21 wickets at 19.85 apiece. That included three for 18 in the pulsating 18-run win over the Rapids at Edgbaston.
Chasing 144 for five, the visitors fancied their chances when Tom Kohler-Cadmore gave their reply a flying start, smashing 21 from just 15 balls. But Gordon came on for the fifth over and struck with his second and fourth balls, removing Kohler-Cadmore and Alex Gidman.
After Rikki Clarke tightened the screw on the Rapids with three for 26, Gordon returned to round off the win by bowling Jack Shantry to roars of delight from the big Edgbaston crowd.
For a young chap born in the city, it was literally a dream come true, but Gordon, with a mature head on young shoulders, has shown that he is a man who relishes big games and the pressures and challenges they bring.
“Twenty20 is such an exciting format because a game can change within a ball and if one or two players shine on the day they can take the game away from you,” he said. “As a bowler you are always under pressure but I love that.
“For me it helps so much that we have got top bowlers opening the bowling. That gives me a chance to see how the batters are playing. I can watch the game a little bit more so when I come on to bowl I can be flexible.
“That flexibility comes in where you are fielding having to think quickly for the next over and say ‘right, if he’s going to bat like that, I’m going to bowl like this.’ It’s all a case of knowing what skills you can use to get a batter off strike and not get hit for six or four.
“I am just really proud to be part of it and love it every time we play in the NatWest T20 Blast at Edgbaston. It’s absolutely electric. My first game last year was against Worcestershire Rapids and, as a young Birmingham lad that was absolutely fantastic to play in.
I am just really proud to be part of it and love it every time we play in the NatWest T20 Blast at EdgbastonRecordo Gordon
“What we also do really well at the Bears is all the work off the field. As a bowling unit we do a lot of planning so that we go out there knowing how the batters like to play. Sometimes they may change but it’s important to have a Plan A which is very sound and then you can alter it if necessary.”
With T20 career-figures of 30 wickets at 18.80 apiece, Gordon is a real leader for Birmingham Bears with the ball – but his potency with the bat should also be noted.
Batting down the order he rarely gets to the crease but when he does there are fireworks. His 29 runs (including three sixes and a four) have arrived at the eye-catching rate of 181.25 per 100 balls.
So is he a bit of wasted resource with the willow? “I wouldn’t say that,” he laughed. “But the way the game is evolving you just can’t afford to be a typical bunny any more. Everyone has got to be able to contribute to the team whether that’s with the bat or ball or in the field.
“We have all got a part to play and I’ll just work hard on my game and go out there and try to do my best for the team.”
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