Delighted Worcestershire Rapids Head Coach Kevin Sharp gave his reaction to reaching the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast after last night’s 15 run win over Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.
The Rapids will now take on Gloucestershire at Blackfinch New Road on August 25 (3pm start) after topping the North Group.
A superb century by Moeen Ali – released to play in the game by England – set up the Rapids victory.
Sharp, speaking immediately after the Rapids triumph, said: “We really did want to win tonight. We did want a home tie. We wanted to finish the group stages on a high really.
“We’ve done that and it is great for the club, great for the players, great for all of us and we are going to get a home quarter final and, hopefully this time for the first time, it will be nice to go all the way.
“Moeen’s innings is class isn’t it. Thank you to England for allowing him to come back and play for us this evening.
“We were more than happy when we got that news in the afternoon.
“He loves playing for Worcestershire and he has shown his class and it is a pleasure to watch that sort of ball striking.
“When he is in that sort of form, some bowlers are going to suffer.
“T20 hundreds are not easily come by. To make them in T20 cricket is one hell of an achievement. You don’t see it that often.
“Quite often it is high risk cricket and when you are playing high risk cricket, it doesn’t always go your way for the whole period.
“But he did enough didn’t he and got us to a very commanding score. It was a good wicket and we knew they would challenge us.”
Sharp added: “One or two said the wicket was a little bit slow at times but a good wicket. A target of 210 in 20 overs is very competitive and you have to back yourself to defend that but these lads do.
“They are a confident group, they’ve played some excellent cricket, they are all contributing and it was nip and tuck all the way.
“But this year more often than not, when it has really counted, we have come up trumps and delivered.
“We are just proud of these lads. We’ve finished top of the North Group in the 50 over and 20 over competitions so, between us, we must be doing something right!”