Alex Gidman praised the fighting qualities of Worcestershire Rapids as they defeated Northamptonshire Steelbacks by 20 runs in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Wantage Road.

Hamish Rutherford’s battling hundred was the bedrock of the Rapids 254-9 with a ninth wicket stand of 59 with Josh Tongue crucial in enabling them to post a competitive total.

Then the slower paced bowling of Daryl Mitchell and Brett D’Oliveira squeezed the life out of the middle part of the Steelbacks innings – a combined total of 20 overs for 68 runs and three wickets – as they were bowled out for 234.

First Team Coach Gidman told BBC Hereford-Worcester’s Dave Bradley: “I thought we were a little bit inconsistent today. We did a lot of good stuff, a lot of stuff you need to do to go far in the competition.

“We need to win games from tough situations when we are not playing at our best.

“An indication of that today was that ninth wicket partnership with Tonguey, for example (with Hamish Rutherford) in getting us up to a competitive score, probably not even par, but competitive.

“To see Mitch (Daryl Mitchell) and Dolly (Brett D’Oliveira) come into it in the middle (with the ball) made a huge impact on the game.

“They really put the pressure on. It was good old scrapping. We felt after the first innings that the wicket wasn’t going to get easier to bat on although it wasn’t going to get that much worse.

“We struggled against their slower bowlers so we were confident they would do to if we were accurate which the lads were.

“They bowled straight, fielded well off their own bowling and we put plenty of pressure on.”

Rutherford batted and battled almost all the way through the innings for his 126 until he was dismissed in the penultimate over.

Gidman said: “He fought it out and he spoke in the dressing room about the different skill set that was needed today.

“I think as a batting group we were all trying to do that today. Some did, some didn’t. We knew it required a different skill set and that is the pleasing thing for me.

“We talked about what we were trying to do it and we didn’t quite get it right with some of them but that wasn’t a poor batting performance.

“We just didn’t quite execute what we wanted to do but we were certainly trying to do the right things.”