CAPTAIN Ed Barnard rued the fine margins between victory and defeat after Worcestershire had a group-stage exit from Vitality Blast rubber stamped.

It was a double derby defeat for the Rapids, losing by 16 runs to Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston to leave no hope of progress to the quarter-finals heading into Sunday's home clash with Glamorgan (1pm). 

Barnard said: "It was really disappointing, another game where we have got really close to end up falling short.  

"I thought we were pretty good throughout the innings with the ball. It was a pretty good pitch and we thought 180 was definitely achievable, especially after the start we had when we got into such a good position. 

"It can be a thin line between winning and losing in T20 and there have been quite a few games this year where, in another year, we might have won another three or four and it would have been a different picture.

"We will have to go away and look at that and hopefully come back next year and be on the right side of them."  


Birmingham Bears took a big step towards the Vitality Blast quarter-finals with a 16-run victory over arch-rivals Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston.

On a chilly, autumnal night in Birmingham, the Bears totalled 179 for six. After Rob Yates' enterprising 37 at the top of the order, a solid total was assured by Sam Hain (61, 33 balls) and Dan Mousley (40, 31). Rapids captain Ed Barnard led his team's bowling with an intelligent spell of 4-0-20-2.

Hamish Rutherford's violent 45 (23 balls) gave the Rapids' reply a lightning start and Brett D'Oliveira played beautifully for 61 (40 balls) but then fell to Henry Brookes with his team still needing 26 from 13 balls. That equation proved beyond the tail as the Rapids fell short on 163 for eight.

The Bears chose to bat first, having omitted Dom Sibley after the England opener scored just four runs in three T20 innings. The aggressive Adam Hose was promoted to open but it was Yates who provided early impetus with 37 from 20 balls with five fours and two sixes.

The Rapids hit back hard, though, as the Bears, from 64 for one in the eighth over, last three wickets for six runs in 11 balls. The impressive Barnard forced miscues into the infield from Hose and Michael Burgess and D'Oliveira had Will Rhodes caught at mid-wicket.

Hain and Mousley, playing only his second T20, rebuilt with a stand of 80 in 53 balls which ended when the latter was caught off Morris. Hain continue his exceptional T20 form, reaching his half-century from 30 balls before edging Pat Brown behind in the final over.

The Rapids' reply was spectacularly launched by Rutherford whose 45 came from just 23 balls, five of which he smote for six. His first-over assault on Tim Bresnan forced the Bears to change their plans and bring linchpin Jeetan Patel on early. Patel bowled Jack Haynes in his first over and Jake Libby sliced Olly Stone to point but Rutherford threatened to win the game single-handed before he fell to Jake Lintott's first ball, superbly caught in the deep by sub fielder Sibley.

Lintott ran out Ben Cox with a direct hit but D'Oliveira advanced to a 31-ball half-century and batted with enormous aplomb until he edged Henry Brookes behind. The game was still very much in the balance but the 19th over, from Stone, cost just four runs and brought the removal of Daryl Mitchell's off-stump to leave the Rapids' lower order needing 18 from the final over - a challenge well beyond them.