Rapids skipper Moeen Ali praised a maiden T20 hundred from Callum Ferguson as Worcestershire chalked up their seventh win in 10 games – a 72 run win over Notts Outlaws – to open up a three point gap at the top of the Vitality Blast North Group.
On a slow Trent Bridge wicket, Moeen, who made 65, felt it was crucial for himself and Ferguson to build a partnership and bat as long as possible in the testing conditions.
The pair added 135 for the second wicket as the Rapids totalled 206-2 and then bowled out the Outlaws for 134 in 17.2 overs.
Moeen said: “It was a great performance. I said to the guys at the start to just try and play our best cricket then, if we do that, we’ve got a very good chance of winning the game.
“How good was that batting performance? We felt especially after the first few overs that it was going to be difficult and then managed to get a good partnership.
“We kept telling each other that it is going to be harder for the next guy coming in so let’s try and bat as long as we could.
“I felt I was a little bit lucky but Fergie was outstanding, someone who has got a lot of experience.
“He took the pressure off me massively, especially when he hit boundaries especially early on. I didn’t really have to take much of a risk.”
The Rapids are in a strong position ahead of Thursday’s home clash with Derbyshire Falcons and two more wins will ensure a top four finish.
But Moeen has stressed the need to stay calm in the battle to reach the last eight.
He said: “I said to the guys we’d try and take one game at a time and try and win games batting first and bowling first so, if we do get into the quarter-finals, we are not relying on chasing or batting first.
“We are just trying to stay calm about it. I know the guys are quite excited still but anything can happen in T20. You can lose the next four.”
RAPIDS Played 10, Won 7, Lost 2, Tied 0, No Result 1, Pts 15, Run Rate 0.848
Jets 9, 6, 3, 0, 0, 12, 1.023
Vikings 10, 6, 4, 0, 0, 12, 0.273
Lightning 9, 5, 3, 0, 1, 11, 0.706
Falcons 10, 5, 5, 0, 0, 10, 0.106
Outlaws 10, 5, 5, 0, 0, 10, -0.213
Foxes 10, 4, 6, 0, 0, 8, -0.372
Bears 9, 3, 5, 1, 0, 7, -0.261
Steelbacks 9, 0, 8, 1, 0, 1, -2.011