WORCESTERSHIRE Rapids' Brett D’Oliveira sparkled with bat and ball as his side moved a step closer to the Vitality Blast knockout stages with a 49 run derby triumph over Birmingham Bears at New Road.

Worcestershire totalled 174-6 after electing to bat thanks mainly to a rapid 45 from opener D’Oliveira and some late fireworks from captain Ben Cox with 43.

Bears skipper Will Rhodes led from the front with a T20 best 4-34 and his side reached 81-2 at the half-way stage with Ed Pollock hitting a fine century.

But D’Oliveira changed the course of the game with three wickets in nine balls and then fellow spinner Ish Sodhi collected three in an over as the Bears were dismissed for 125 in the 18th over.

The Bears attack was severely depleted through injury and Rapids openers Riki Wessels and D’Oliveira took full toll during the powerplay which yielded 64 runs..

Rhodes broke the stand on 70 as Wessels aimed a blow to mid wicket and was bowled for 35 off 25 balls with five fours.

Rhodes struck again when D’Oliveira picked out deep mid-wicket after making 45 from 26 balls with two sixes and five fours.

The Rapids were well placed at 92-2 at the half-way stage.

But Jake Libby made only 18 from 20 balls before he also fell in the deep after pulling a delivery from Miles.

The Rapids lost momentum and Ross Whiteley (4) and Ed Barnard (7) were both bowled aiming extravagant hits, the latter providing Rhodes with a third wicket.

Cox again made a valuable contribution and struck his second six over square leg in the final over from Rhodes.

He had made 43 from 28 balls when he was caught at long on with two balls remaining.

Rapids paceman Charlie Morris made an early breakthrough when Adam Hose (9) was beaten all ends by a fine delivery and bowled.

Rhodes was unable to match his heroics with the ball and on 11 became Morris’s second victim – also bowled – aiming an ugly hit across the line.

But Pollock looked in good touch and hit Daryl Mitchell over long on for six in an over costing 14 runs.

D’Oliveira entered the attack and struck twice in his first over.

Sam Hain (15) gave his first delivery the charge and was bowled and the fifth ball accounted for Matt Lamb (1) who was stumped by Cox.

It became three wickets in nine balls for the all-rounder as Michael Burgess (6) pushed forward and was also bowled.

Pollock reached a fine half century off 34 balls with his third six off Ish Sodhi but the New Zealander had his revenge with the next delivery which was top-edged to keeper Cox.

He followed it up in the next over by sending back Jacob Bethell (7), Rob Yates (3) and Jake Lintott (0) and ended with 4-24.