Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes has given his reaction to Worcestershire Rapids NatWest T20 Blast encounter with Notts Outlaws who won by 11 runs at New Road.
Question: A terrific game of cricket and a number of turning points in the game?
Steve Rhodes: First of all congratulations to Notts, they played a good game so to get 169 was a very good effort although that last over when Sammy hit Jack (Shantry) for 24, if that had been anything like a reasonable over, maybe 12, it (the target) would have been down a little bit lower and possibly we would have got there.
We had a good start and sadly we lost wickets from overs seven to 14 and that meant we were probably just coming second from that point onwards.
Question: What was your view at the half-way stage, chasing 170?
Steve Rhodes: We thought we had got a chance because it was a good wicket. We felt it was very gettable but we would have to bat well.
The start we had, 58-2 off the powerplay overs, we were very happy with, but losing the next four wickets hurt us quite dearly, and a little bit soft, but it's the nature of the game.
It was a marvellous effort towards the end there from Ross Whiteley to try and win it. He is a super hitter and one of the best hitters you could see in the game.
He knows how to hit cricket balls and those hits were big today. We obviously came second but I didn't think we were out of the game, we played a good game of cricket and on another day we'll come out on top.
Question: We've seen that hitting from Ross before and it shows what he is capable of?
Steve Rhodes: He has got such a long swing, high back-lift, long follow through, is marvellous to watch as well.
He hits the ball further than of our batters and we've got some good strikers in our team. We are very happy that he is on our side and we are not having to bowl against him.
Question: Moeen looked in good touch?
Steve Rhodes: Mo has been great since he came back and he has been desperate to prove a point to the selectors.
He played really well the other night at Northampton and I thought he played well again today.
It's a shame he was one of the wickets in that little period (overs seven to 14).
Question: It must be great to have Moeen back in the side?
Steve Rhodes: He is really popular, he loves playing for Worcestershire, he loves the other guys in the dressing room, and we are very happy to have his now international experience with us in the dressing room.
He is through and through Worcestershire and he will always give his all to the cause for Worcestershire.
Question: It is a very open division?
Steve Rhodes: Very open. I've just heard Daryl Mitchell's TV interview and he is dead right, some of the sides in this North Division are really tough.
I'm not belittling anything about the South Division because I'm sure there are some good teams there as well.
You don't have an easy game in the North Division. The next one is at Durham and that will be a tough one too in their backyard.
Question: It is great for the spectators to see all the superstars playing T20?
Steve Rhodes: We've got a great competition, the T20 Blast. Someone said six of the top 10 players in the world are playing in it and I think some of the quality and class and overseas that are playing is tremendous.
To see Chris Gayle in our competition and Brendon McCullum and world class bowlers like Saeed Ajmal, there are so many, it is really great for our public to be able to watch them at close quarters.
You look at some of the teams like Notts today, they just kept coming. We got two early wckets and look what they had behind them and they could keep coming, keep coming so that's more like an international line-up.
Question: Was the key to their innings the partnership between James Taylor and Patel which gave Sammy the platform to do what he did at the end of their innings?
Steve Rhodes: I think so, both of them recovered things pretty well but both of them are international players and that's part of their jobs and they should be able to do that. They did do that. I'm not taking anything away from them.
Sammy's innings was interesting because it was really that last over, with 24 runs that were hit off it, that was the icing on the cake for their innings.
Question: You must be delighted with Saeed Ajmal's performance today?
Steve Rhodes: At Northampton on Friday, it was quite a tough one for him, he went for quite a few runs but he picked up the three crucial wickets.
Here today he has only gone for mid 20s, he bowled very well and we are excited also to have him in our dressing room.
He is another guy who is very likeable, and he has got that reputation and ability to win games of cricket.
Question: Is the key for him bowling overs in the middle?
Steve Rhodes: Yes, that's exactly what it is and to me, I'm really pleased with what I see. I'm pretty sure he is going to have a good season for us.
Question: Does it frustrate you not going to get a game to Friday?
Steve Rhodes: That's life. The fixtures are put out at the start but you do have some hefty periods of play in our season but we've got time off now until Friday.
We've definitely had a couple of times where we've had weeks off as well already and we are not even half-way through the season.
Everyone says what a ridiculous schedule it is we've got but I just think we have lots of time off as well.
If they could somehow get a happy medium that you do play your games regularly but you can have a little bit of a freshening up. We tend to be busy or not busy.