Moeen Ali has praised the performances of his Worcestershire Rapids opening partner Richard Oliver in NatWest T20 Blast cricket.

Oliver has put together scores of 43, 34, four and 77 in his opening four games for the rebranded Rapids.

The Shropshire captain has opened in Minor Counties cricket with Moeen's brother, Omar Ali, and done the same alongside Moeen in all four matches.

Moeen said: "Richard has done really well. He is different. He scores quick which is just what you want and he takes the pressure off me and I can just enjoy myself.

"It is good for the powerplay. I don't need to worry about the other end because he is one of those guys if he stays in, he will score quick so there is nothing to worry about.

"I just need to concentrate on trying to give the team a good start. I think he is going to surprise a lot of teams. I think some teams have been surprised already by him.

"He is dangerous and is good to have in the side."

The England player added: "He has performed in the leagues and scored two hundreds for the second eleven. The guy deserves his chance.

"Bumpy (Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes) gave him a chance – and that's all that people need sometimes.

"Richard played with my brother, he opened with my brother quite a bit and my brother always said to me 'this guy is brilliant, he smashes it' so I knew a bit about him.

"I watched him bat a couple of times and could see that he was a good player. Bumpy has given chances in the past to people before. He gives people chances if they are performing."