Steve Rhodes insists Worcestershire Rapids should "not get too downhearted" after losing their opening NatWest T20 Blast clash with holders Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.

The Rapids excelled with the ball and in the field in restricting Birmingham to 144-5 but were dismissed for 126 in the final over.

Director of Cricket Rhodes said afterwards: "It was not the result we wanted but I really do think there were some good positives out of today.

"We bowled extremely well and we fielded really well and sadly we didn't quite match that with the bat.

"To counter that, let's be honest Warwickshire also fielded and bowled extremely well to make life difficult for us batting.

"They are the champions and are going to be a good side to try and beat and I don't think we should get too downhearted. We just need to tidy up a little bit with the batting.

"We lost wickets earlyand we had a cluster around about the 15th over when we lost something like a wicket every over which obviously you don't want to do.

"Was 144 a par score? it may well have been with the way the wicket played. There was a little of stoppiness in the wicket and it just checks as it pitches and that makes life difficult for free scoring.

"I do feel both teams bowled and fielded extremely well and we really did fancy our chances of getting that score.

"But sadly it wasn't to be and we lost four wickets by the seventh over. That is not the start you need from your top order players.

"There was an excellent partnership between Ross Whiteley and Daryl Mitchell and we then lost wickets again.

"There are two areas there to tidy up, at the start and then making sure we don't lose wickets every over in a 20 over game."

Ed Barnard and Ben Cox were run-out after a couple of mix-ups led to their exiting the middle.

Rhodes said: "It happens but it is rare you lose two to run-outs, possibly the pressure of the situation, the loud crowd so sometimes the calling needs to be a little bit louder.

"One of those players, Ed Barnard, has played his first game and sometimes you need to get used to each other's calling, the way they run between the wickets, and obviously there was some lack of communication there between him and Mitch."

Brett D'Oliveira impressed during his four over spell and finished with 2-21.

Rhodes said: "Brett bowled superbly. All the bowlers bowled well. We had some good plans in place with the ball and in the field and we really did nail them.

"So not to get too downhearted. They are a good side, they won it last year. We had a chance to win it, definitely, and we like to take those sort of chances but there are plenty of games to go.

"We proved that last year when we qualified after losing the first two. We've got Colin Munro coming in for the next match which is a big bonus to us because he is a super player and we look forward to him being in our team."