Steve Rhodes admitted that a tie was "maybe a fair result" after Worcestershire Rapids maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign via a Royal London One-Day Cup thriller against Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Wantage Road.

The Rapids twice fought back from unpromising positions – first with the bat at 84-4 before making 277-9 – and then with the ball as Northants, who were 198-3 at one stage, closed on 277-7.

A bye off the final delivery from Joe Leach ensured the scores ended level and lifted the Rapids points tally to five from three games and second spot in the North Group.

Director Of Cricket Rhodes told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "A fantastic tie, plenty of runs scored, really exciting and enthralling cricket and just a shame about the weather. It's been a bitter cold day and sadly not many spectators here.

"Credit to two teams who really fought hard all the way. To finish on a tie…..both sides could have won it.

"We did really well to get the score we did after being 80-4 and at one stage Northants should have won it quite comfortably.

"But we kept going, I thought we fielded well and it was a good game of cricket to get a tie in the end.

"I thought 277 had got a little bit above par but we shouldn't take anything away from a couple of their knocks.

"I thought Rob Newton played really well and, when he got out, we had a chance, and then Adam Rossington at the end also played a very crucial innings for Northants.

"They are a difficult side to beat and are going to surprise a few other teams in this competition.

"But we've maintained our unbeaten record so that's good and we did really well to get that score.

"Ben Cox played extremely well with Mitch (Daryl Mitchell) and then Ed Barnard towards the end showed depth once again.

"We were pleased to get that score and maybe a tie was a fair result."

Opener Mitchell scored a fine 75 on his return to the side in place of Moeen Ali after being left out of the opening two One-Day Cup matches.

Rhodes said: "Did he have a point to prove? Probably, but he doesn't play in an individual manner. He plays for the team.

"He recognises when he gets the opportunity to play for the team,then he'll do his best for the team.

"His 75 showed what he has got which is experience and ability and long may that continue."

Mitchell was fifth out at 118 but once again the lower order came to the rescue with Cox hitting a List A best 82 and Barnard an unbeaten 42 from 27 balls.

Rhodes said: "I've always felt that the length of your batting order is really important. Often in one-day cricket, it comes down to those last two or three batters.

"If you've got guys who don't know which end of the bat to hold then you are struggling.

"Barny could easily bat higher for us, as he does in in Championship cricket, but John (Hastings), Joe (Leach) and even Shants (Jack Shantry) at number 11 are all good players so to have that depth is really important.

"When you look at Yorkshire, a strong side, the likes of Plunkett, Rashid and Willey down the order, they keep going eight, nine, then even 11.

"It is nice a county like us can produce plenty of depth with batting."