WORCESTERSHIRE Rapids will be looking to return to the top of the Vitality Blast North Group table this evening when they host Yorkshire Vikings at New Road (5.30pm).

The Rapids have won two and drawn one of their opening three games of the 2021 campaign and have a game in hand (this evening) on Lancashire Lightning and Birmingham Bears, who currently occupy the top two places.

A victory this evening against sixth-placed Vikings would see Worcestershire leapfrog the two above them and maintain their unbeaten start.

The Rapids are one of just three teams who are yet to lose a game in the tournament so far and head coach Alex Gidman says it is largely down to their incredibly disciplined bowling performances.

They have conceded only two wides in their opening trio of matches and also did not give away a single extra in a full innings for only the second time in 18 seasons of Blast cricket against Lancashire Lightning on Sunday.

Gidman said: “The lads have bowled really well. They have executed their own simple skills really effectively during these last two games.

“They have been very disciplined and very accurate and have been getting the rewards.

“We try and minimise things like extras as much as possible and obviously they were outstanding the other day with that and also in the first two games there weren’t many conceded.

“Little parts of the game that they are doing really well with are making the big difference.

“It is great to start the competition well. You want to try and get a couple of wins under your belt and get that confidence and rhythm of playing which so far we have settled into quite nicely.”

In terms of team news, it is the same side for the Rapids that won both of their Blast games last week (Steelbacks and Lightning) whilst the Vikings welcome back the return of former England batsman Gary Ballance to the side after they enjoyed a narrow win over Leicestershire Foxes last night.


Worcestershire Rapids;

Riki Wessels, Brett D’Oliveira, Moeen Ali ©; Jake Libby; Ross Whiteley, Ben Cox (w), Ed Barnard, Ish Sodhi, Ben Dwarshuis, Charlie Morris, Josh Tongue, Tom Fell, Daryl Mitchell

Yorkshire Vikings;

Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)

Gary Ballance, Dominic Bess, Harry Brook, Lockie Ferguson, Will Fraine, Matthew Fisher, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Adam Lyth, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jordan Thompson, Matthew Waite, David Willey (Captain)