WORCESTERSHIRE’S coaches and players swiftly turned their attention to Vitality Blast finals day after a six-wicket defeat to Gloucestershire in their final County Championship home match of the season.

The players were back on the outfield at Blackfinch New Road today honing their skills after the Division Two game ended 50 minutes into the third day.

The boundary boards and stands were peppered by Rapids’ batsmen who will hope for the same sort of outcome at Edgbaston on Saturday with the T20 semi-final against Notts Outlaws starting at 11am.

County first-team coach Alex Gidman confirmed: “There is a practice this afternoon. It wasn’t intended but with the way the Gloucestershire game has gone it has opened up an afternoon which we will capitalise on.

“We will then have a slightly lighter day tomorrow and then practice on Friday morning here before we travel up to Birmingham in the afternoon and then the day will take care of itself.

“I think it’s more of a mental shift as opposed to a physical shift.

“We’ve got a couple of players who are going to be OK for finals day but having not played much cricket the last couple of weeks they will practice really hard.

“Parny (Wayne Parnell) and Dolly (Brett D’Oliveira) weren’t quite ready for this game (Gloucestershire). They would have played had they been available for this game.

“As things stand they are looking OK for the finals day and next week (at Sussex) as well.”

Gloucestershire resumed on 54-4 and achieved their 115 target without any further loss of wickets thanks to an unbroken stand of 74 between Miles Hammond (35) and Josh Shaw (38).

Gidman said: “The initial reaction? Disappointment, a little bit of frustration naturally.

“I guess it sums up the season in that we competed for a good chunk of the game and then had a poor two or three hours where the game slipped away from us.

“We fought back really well last night but you are only one partnership away so although there was a chance it was unrealistic to think the bowlers could have pulled us out of the position we were in.

“It’s frustrating that we have found ourselves in that position again having played so well last week (against Glamorgan).

“There have been two games this year where we haven’t shown up. Even Essex and Somerset would have had a couple of games where they haven’t played very well.

“We seem to lose our position in the game and in four-day cricket it’s very hard to drag it back.”

Worcester-born D’Oliveira bowled out in the middle at Blackfinch New Road before the start of play today.

He has been sidelined for six weeks with a broken thumb suffered in the Vitality Blast encounter with Derbyshire Falcons.

But Rapids’ official white-ball captain, 27, returned to action for Ombersley in the Birmingham League at the weekend and picked up two wickets.

Fellow all-rounder Wayne Parnell went through a similar routine today.

The South African was back bowling after a severe viral infection which kept him out of the quarter-final and the last two Championship matches.