Worcestershire CCC’s coaches and players have swiftly turned their attention to Vitality Blast day after going down by six wickets to Gloucestershire in their final home Specsavers County Championship match of the season.
The players were back on the outfield at Blackfinch New Road honing their skills after the game ended 50 minutes into the third day.
The boundary boards and stands were peppered by the Rapids batsmen who will be hoping for the same sort of outcome at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Worcestershire First Team Coach Alex Gidman confirmed: “There is a practice this afternoon. It wasn’t intended but with the way the Gloucestershire game has gone, it has opened up an afternoon which we will capitalise on.
“We will then have a slightly lighter day tomorrow and then practice on Friday morning here before we travel up to Birmingham in the afternoon and then the day will take care of itself.
“I think it’s more of a mental shift as opposed to a physical shift.
“We’ve got a couple of players who are going to be okay for finals day but, having not played much cricket the last couple of weeks, they will practice really hard this afternoon and then Friday as well.
“Parny (Wayne Parnell) and Dolly (Brett D’oliveira) weren’t quite ready for this game. They would have played had they been available for this game.
“As things stand, they are looking okay for the finals day and next week (at Sussex as well)”
Gloucestershire resumed on 54-4 and achieved their 115 target without any further loss of wickets thanks to an unbroken stand of 74 between Miles Hammond (35) and Josh Shaw (38).
Worcestershire competed with their local rivals for long spells but, as has been the case on several occasions this summer, saw plenty of good work undone by one spell when things did not quite click with either bat or ball.
Gidman said: “The initial reaction? Disappointment, a little bit of frustration naturally.
“I guess it sums up the season in that we competed for a good chunk of the game and then had a poor two or three hours where the game slipped away from us.
“I thought we fought back really well last night but you are only one partnership away so, although there was a chance, it was unrealistic to think the bowlers could have pulled us out of the position we were in.
“Frustrating that we have found ourselves in that position again having played so well last week (against Glamorgan).
“There have been two games this year where we haven’t shown up. Even Essex and Somerset would have had a couple of games where they haven’t played very well.
“These guys are only human but what has been tough for us all and the players themselves is playing so well and competing and looking as good as, if not better, than our opposition for 80-90 per cent of the games and then from nowhere we seem to have this hour or session which is the polar opposite.
“We seem to lose our position in the game and in four-day cricket it’s very hard to drag it back.
“If you lose your position in T20, it takes an over to drag it back. In 50 over cricket, it takes 10 overs to drag it back.
“In four day cricket, it takes a day to drag it back, if not two days. Sometimes you don’t have that amount of time.”