Worcestershire Women’s Rapids launched their first ever campaign in Division One of the ECB T20 County Championship with two exciting games against Warwickshire Women and Surrey Women at the Edgbaston Foundation ground.
The newly promoted Rapids went down by seven runs to Warwickshire and then were involved in a thrilling tie with Surrey Women.
It was an encouraging start to life in the top flight for the Rapids in what is a major step up.
In Game One, the Rapids put Warwickshire into bat and they totalled 148-4 with openers Gwenan Davies (40) and Ria Fackrell (41) putting on 81.
The Rapids bowlers reined in their opponents during the second half of their innings with Emily Arlott (1-23), Izzy Watson (1-30) and Lauren Rowles (1-3) the wicket-takers plus the run-out of top scorer Fackrell.
Rapids openers Chloe Hill and Rowles also got off to a flier with an opening stand of 57.
Hill hit 33 off 20 balls with seven fours and Rowles 16 off 13 deliveries and then Clare Boycott (38 not out off 43 balls) continued the good work.
She added 38 for the third wicket with Rachel Howells (22) and the Rapids were left needing nine off the final over from Georgia Davis.
But Watson was caught at long on inches away from the boundary, showcasing the fine margins of this contest, as the Rapids closed on 141-8.
In Game Two, the Rapids were well on top after Surrey had elected to bat in reducing their opponents to 46-6.
Boycott (2-22), Issy Wong (2-23) and Watson (2-17) did the damage for the Rapids but an unbroken stand of 71 between Amy Gordon (31 not out) and Kira Chathli (30 not out) lifted Surrey to 117-6.
Hill, 29 off 28 balls, and Rowles, 16 off 17 deliveries, put on 35 for the first wicket for the Rapids.
Two quick wickets left the Rapids on 80-4 but Boycott (36 not out off 44 balls with four boundaries) and Victoria King (16 not out) earned the Rapids a share of the points.
The Worcestershire Women Rapids Head Coach Sam Wyles said, “We knew when we got promoted to Division One last year that there were going to be no easy games.
“This was a big step up and I thought we settled in really well. Both matches were very close, it shows how good we were that I am actually disappointed that we couldn’t get over the line in at least one game.”
“The whole team contributed during both matches which was very pleasing. We just need to learn to be more clinical when we are on top and impose ourselves.”
The Rapids are next in T20 action on Sunday when they entertain Middlesex and Lancashire at Kidderminster’s Chester Road ground.