Foxes Triumph Over Rapids in Thrilling Last-Over Finish in Vitality Blast 2024

Leicestershire Foxes clinched a nail-biting four-run victory over Worcestershire Rapids in the North Group contest of the Vitality Blast, marking their second win in four matches.

For Leicestershire’s second victory of the season, Josh Hull maintains composure to defend 12 off the last over.

Foxes Triumph Over Rapids in Thrilling Last-Over Finish in Vitality Blast 2024
For the Foxes, Rishi Patel scored the most. Getty Images

Worcestershire 172 for 6 (Waite 40, Currie 2-20, Ahmed 2-27) was defeated by Leicestershire 176 for 8 (Patel 48, Smith 3-39) by a margin of four runs.

In the Vitality Blast, Leicestershire Foxes won their second game out of four as they defeated Worcestershire Rapids in a close-fought North Group match.

After Matthew Waite hit 40 from 35 and the Rapids needed 12 off the final over to fall five short of their target, England’s Rehan Ahmed took 2 for 27 and held a crucial catch to and a potentially winning innings of 37 off 16 balls by Ethan Brookes. Scott Currie took two for 22, and debutant left-arm spinner Lewis Goldsworthy, on loan from Somerset, took one for 17.

Following Louis Kimber’s 25 off 16 earlier, the Foxes rallied from 119 for 5 in the 16th over to post 176 for 8, with wickets shared by Nathan Smith (3 for 39), Adam Finch (3 for 43), and captain D’Oliveira (2 for 24). Ben Cox (29 off 21) and Ben Mike (24 off 11) built on Rishi Pate’s 48 from 42.

Worcestershire chose to bowl first and were rewarded with wickets in the second and third overs as Peter Handscomb at deep third man off an uppercut and Adam Finch hitting a short ball that went wide. The pitch was the same one used for a doubleheader on Friday. Sol Budinger was aiming for midwicket when he was caught at short third man.

With four boundaries in his 16-ball 25, Louis Kimber led an aggressive reply, but Brett D’Oliveira’s 48 in 33 balls ended when he was caught at long off. The Foxes were 78 for 3 from 10, but they were dealt another blow when D’Oliveira stopped Wiaan Mulder from getting close and Gareth Roderick successfully stumped him.

The Rapids’ disciplined bowling made it tough to accelerate, and their 114 for 4 after 15 overs did not look good. However, the Foxes picked up the pace in the final five overs, scoring 62 runs, a respectable total even if they lost four wickets in the process.

While Rehan Ahmed and Lewis Goldsworthy fell cheaply, the former failing to clear long-on and Goldsworthy grabbing one-handed in his follow-through by Smith, Mike’s two fours and a six off Finch’s final three deliveries in a 17-run 19th over, followed by 15 more off the last, ensured a competitive score. Patel’s loss, holing out to wide long-on, looked like a potentially serious blow. However, Cox struck 29 off 21 balls before he was caught behind.

With six wickets gained in their batting powerplay, Worcestershire was leading by 55 runs. But spinners Goldsworthy and Rehan, who gave up just 27 in the following five overs, stopped them in their tracks. Rehan bowled D’Oliveira (32 from 25) on the other end of a stand that lasted 70 balls.

Also Read: Middlesex Triumphs in Vitality Blast 2024: Luke Hollman’s Heroics Secure First Win

The Rapids took the lead when Josh Cobb hit Ben Mike for twenty-one runs in an over by clearing the legside boundary twice. However, they lost two wickets in three overs, and after Waite had trapped Scott Currie to square leg and Goldsworthy, who was making his loan from Somerset, had stumped Adam Hose, they were left needing to score fifty seven runs from the final thirty balls.

Rehan bowled Cobb (34 from 35) off an inside edge to keep it in the balance after Rehan had taken a fine catch at deep cover to assist Currie in getting rid of Brookes. After two big overs from Brookes, who hit sixes off Mulder and then Hull, the requirement was 12 off the final six balls.

Hull spoiled a good last over with a no-ball, but Currie caught Taylor brilliantly at mid-off, and with six required, Ed Pollock swung hopelessly at the final delivery but missed.

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