Worcestershire Rapids will be looking to reclaim possession of the Norman Gifford Trophy when they take on local rivals and North Group leaders Birmingham Bears in the return NatWest T20 Blast clash at Edgbaston tomorrow evening.
The Rapids completed a T20 double over the Bears last season but were beaten by eight wickets when the teams met at New Road in the opening game of this summer’s competition.
After a slow start, the Rapids have showed signs of returning to form in the short format of the game with an excellent win over in-form Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge and an eight wicket success over Durham Jets at New Road at the weekend.
Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: “We like playing them here and like I said at the start of the campaign, I wish it had been the fourth or fifth game in.
“To play them up there, when there will be the best part of 15,000 supporters there…..we have really good support from the guys in the north of the county.
“The guys from the Black Country quite enjoy coming and supporting Worcestershire and so we look forward to a great occasion.
“It is a good ground and the new stand makes for a very special atmosphere and we are looking forward to taking them on.
“They are hot favourites and wouldn’t it be nice to turn the tables and beat them which we’ve done before at Edgbaston.
“We’ve got a good record there so we will give it a good crack and hopefully we will gain some confidence from the Durham game.
“It was nice to see a youngster (Joe Clarke) smacking Durham around and winning the game for us.”
Rhodes added: “We got a lot of confidence when we were at Trent Bridge. I thought the way we took on that very powerful side with seven internationals in there and defended when they looked pretty solid after their powerplay against us was a good fighting spirit.
“We gained a lot of confidence. That is why it was disappointing not to play quite as well as we could have done at Northampton the following evening.
“But we’ve picked it up now and Joe deserves huge credit. He definitely won the game for us against Durham and let’s hope we can gain confidence and take that into Edgbaston.”