Worcestershire Rapids Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes gave his reaction to the eight wicket home setback against Birmingham Bears in the opening NatWest T20 Blast game of the 2017 campaign.

Ben Cox (43) and Ross Whiteley (40) top-scored in the Rapids total of 152-8 after they had been put into bat.

Then New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner (1-19 in four overs) and Daryl Mitchell (1-10 in three overs) were the pick of the bowlers as the Bears triumphed with an over to spare.

Rhodes said: "We would have liked to have won. It was a good performance by Warwickshire and Ian Bell's knock (75 not out) is what proved to be a match-winning knock.

"We did really well actually from the position we were (66-5) to get 150. But we needed to bowl well and field really well.

"They seemed to get a little bit more out of the wicket than we did which is possibly why we didn't take wickets early on and if you are going to defend 150, you need to take wickets early on.

"That was a little bit disappointing. There were a couple of close lbw shouts and we needed those early wickets to win when you are defending 150.

"I very much thought there was a bit of up and down movement, a little bit of a two-paced pitch and you needed to hit the wicket hard, nice and straight.

"Was I disappointed with the first 10-12 overs with the bat? Well the boys kept coming back saying how difficult it was. You've got to trust them, you've got to believe them.

"I did think the likes of Rikki Clarke bowled a really good spell at the start and made life difficult for our batters.

"Whiteley and Cox put together a fantastic partnership and got us into a position where we had a score that we could defend but we needed to make early inroads and sadly that wasn't to be.

"Whatever you do in terms of the amount of runs you get in T20 cricket you still need to take early wickets.

"There are different ways of qualifying. We've qualified in the past going off like a train and then possibly dipping a little bit in form.

"There are other ways to qualify like maybe coming (into form) a little bit later.

"But it's just one game out of 14 and nothing to get worried about and Warwickshire played a really good game and deserved the victory."