WORCESTERSHIRE Rapids will face Gloucestershire in the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast at Blackfinch New Road.

The game will take place next Saturday at 3pm as Rapids bid to reach finals day for the first time.

Rapids finished top of the North Group after their 15-run win over Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston enabled them to overhaul Durham Jets.

Jets' home game with Derbyshire Falcons was abandoned without a ball being bowled and in stepped Rapids to overtake them with a superior run-rate.

They have been paired with Gloucestershire as a result of their local rivals finishing fourth in the South Group.

The four quarter-finals will take place on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday next week.

Head coach Kevin Sharp said: “We really did want to win (at Bears). We wanted a home tie. We wanted to finish the group stages on a high really and we’ve done that.

“It is great for the club, for the players and for all of us that we are going to get a home quarter-final and hopefully this time for the first time it would be nice to go all the way.”

A superb century by Moeen Ali, released to play in the game by England, set up the Rapids victory over Bears.

Sharp said: “Moeen’s innings was class wasn’t it. Thank you to England for allowing him to come back and play for us.

“We were more than happy when we got that news in the afternoon.

“He loves playing for Worcestershire and has shown his class and it is a pleasure to watch that sort of ball striking.

“When he is in that sort of form, some bowlers are going to suffer.

“T20 hundreds are not easily come by. To make them in T20 cricket is one hell of an achievement. You don’t see it that often.

“Quite often it is high-risk cricket and when you are playing that it doesn’t always go your way for the whole period.

“But he did enough didn’t he and got us to a very commanding score. It was a good wicket and we knew they would challenge us.”

Sharp added: “One or two said the wicket was a bit slow at times but a good wicket.

"A target of 210 in 20 overs is very competitive and you have to back yourself to defend that but these lads do.

“They are a confident group, they’ve played some excellent cricket, they are all contributing and it was nip and tuck all the way.

“But this year more often than not, when it has really counted, we have come up trumps and delivered.

“We are just proud of these lads. We’ve finished top of the North Group in the 50-over and 20-over competitions so between us we must be doing something right!”

Tickets have gone on sale for the quarter-final from this morning.