8th August 2018
View on the opposition - Worcestershire Rapids
In the eighth part of a series of views on the opposition from the ECB Reporters Network, we gain some insight on Yorkshire Vikings.
T20 record: No Finals Day appearances, best performance is quarter-finals in 2004, 2007, 2012, 2014 and 2015
Last season: Finished eighth in North Group
Captain: Moeen Ali/Brett D'Oliveira
Overseas players: At various stages Martin Guptill, Travis Head, Callum Ferguson, Wayne Parnell
Big hitter: Ross Whiteley - the left hander last summer became the first ever Englishman to score six sixes in an over in ANY format of the game in a Blast match against Yorkshire’s left arm spinner Karl Carver at Headingley. That kind of power-hitting helped earn Whiteley a lucrative winter playing in the Bangladesh Premier League, the inaugural T10 tournament in Sharjah and the Pakistan Super League. Whiteley feels he has learnt from those experiences and on his day is one of the most destructive batsmen in Blast and all white ball cricket.
Key Bowler: Brett D’Oliveira - his impact in Championship cricket has been limited but in white ball cricket D’Oliveira is a key component of the Worcestershire attack. He has developed into one of the most economical bowlers in Blast cricket in recent seasons and gone toe to toe with fellow spinners Saeed Ajmal and Mitchell Santner during their spells at Blackfinch New Road. Harnessed to his own destructive hitting, D’Oliveira will have a key role in all facets of the game if the Rapids are to make a first finals day appearance.
Wild card: The overseas players - New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill is with the Rapids for the first eight games of the Blast and, if on song, will add even more fire-power to an impressive looking line-up. Guptill can take any attack apart on his day and, with the likes of Travis Head, Callum Ferguson, Joe Clarke and Ross Whiteley for company, the Rapids batting line-up represents their best chance of qualifying from the North Group. Head, who captained the Adelaide Strikers to the Big Bash title this year, and his fellow Aussie Ferguson, who hit the County’s highest List A score of 192 in the One-Day Cup, could also entertain Rapids fans if they fire on all cylinders. Wayne Parnell, a talented South Africa international, will add to the Rapids’ all-round talent.