Matt Mason hailed the performance of Brett D'Oliveira who scored his first 50 in senior cricket for Worcestershire in the NatWest T20 Blast clash with Birmingham Bears at New Road tonight.
D'Oliveira raced to his half century off 29 balls and in total hit four sixes as the Rapids posted 160-5 only for Rikki Clarke's unbeaten 52 to secure a five wicket win for the Bears with three balls to spare.
On a personal level it completed a fine week for D'Oliveira who made his first LV = County Championship appearance of the season in the win over Hampshire yesterday and impressed with the ball.
With Tom Kohler-Cadmore hitting another sparkling 66, it was another indication of the talent that is developing at New Road.
Assistant coach Mason said: "It was great to see the young pups do so well. That's what we've seen a lot from this group all year.
"Our young guys have been coming through and doing really well and turning in match-winning performances.
"That is what this team all about and it is great to see them coming through and having good performances. Lots to be excited about going forward.
"I keep telling myself how good could this side be in three years, in all formats. If we can keep this group of young players together, then we are going to be challenging for trophies a lot more often.
"Dolly has grown up a lot in the last two years and as a cricketer he is showing us what he has always been capable of.
"He is a fantastic fielder, he brings a lot of energy to the team, his batting tonight was class, his bowling is developing nicely.
"How good can he be? We will find out in the next couple of years."
D'Oliveira looked to the heavens after completing his 50 and his late father Damian D'Oliveira would have been proud of his efforts.
Mason said: "I'm sure his dad is never too far from his thoughts anytime he is playing cricket. It was nice to see that."
As regards the outcome of the game, Mason said: "We are disappointed to be on the end of the result but these Pears and Bears games always throw up entertainment and I thought it was a really good game of cricket.
"It was a tough pitch to bat on and I thought when we had 161 on the board that we probably had enough.
"Rikki Clarke played a terrific innings and sometimes you can come up against a player who on his day can win a game for his team. Hats off to Birmingham I thought they played really well.
"You could see what he was trying to do. He was happy to knock it around for singles, pick up the twos and the odd boundary.
"He was taking the game deep and unless we got him out he was always in a position to try and do what he did – and he had good support from Laurie Evans who played an explosive knock.
"We are not overly disappointed. We thought we did everything we possibly could. We come up against a really good side on the day."
The Rapids are still occupying second spot in the North Group behind the Bears and remain in strong contention to clinch a quarter-final place.
Mason said: "We've got another game coming up (against Yorkshire on Tuesday) and we've got to recover quickly and then play Derbyshire and Lancashire so we need to get back on the horse very quickly.
"We are going to try and win every game we can. We'd love to get a home quarter-final and we are still to make it to a finals day.
"The players definitely believe we are good enough to do that but one thing at at time, let's try and beat Yorkshire on Tuesday."