Worcestershire’s Women’s Rapids side continue their Vitality Women’s County T20 Cup campaign this Sunday (June 17) with their first home fixtures in the competition.
The Rapids will be hoping to build on last Sunday’s Division One debut at the Edgbaston Foundation Ground, where they went down to a narrow six run defeat against Warwickshire, before edging a thrilling match with Surrey by virtue of having lost fewer wickets after the scores finished level.
This was a result that was only confirmed in the last few days after confusion about the rules led to a referral to the ECB.
Boosted by that successful outcome, focus has turned to picking up points from the home games to come, beginning with the visit of last season’s runners-up, Middlesex, and the current champions, Lancashire, to Chester Road, Kidderminster.
The format of the competition sees three fixtures on the same day, with the Rapids taking on Middlesex first at 10.30 am, and then Lancashire at 4.30 pm, whilst the two visiting teams meet in between at 1.30 pm.
The matches clash, of course, with the eagerly-awaited Worcestershire Rapids Royal London One Day Cup semi-final with Kent Spitfires at Blackfinch New Road, but any supporters unable to attend that game will be very welcome at Kidderminster. Admission to all Women’s Rapids home matches is FREE!
Women’s Rapids captain Lauren Rowles says the team are looking forward to building on last week’s encouraging start to the season.
She said: “I think we’ve proved that we aren’t just here to enjoy being in Division One, that we’re here to win games of cricket. As a unit we’re in a very strong position with our self-belief and team ethic this year, which is an area where we were perhaps lacking at times last year. I have no doubt the girls will carry on the great work this weekend.
“We’re a bit disappointed we didn’t manage two wins last Sunday. We were in match-winning positions at times against Warwickshire but that’s part of T20 cricket. It can swing from one team to the other very quickly. But we pulled through well against Surrey, and managed to get over the line.”
Sunday’s matches may well see the Rapids come up against England players past and present, with Middlesex likely to include World Cup winner Fran Wilson in their squad, alongside the vastly-experienced Beth Morgan, who won both the World Cup and World T20 with England in 2009.
Lancashire also have their own England contingent, with another World Cup winner – left-arm spinner Alex Hartley – likely to feature, whilst seamer Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone, another left-arm spinner, also in contention if they are released by England following today’s third ODI against South Africa.
Rowles isn’t fazed by the prospect of facing some of the game’s top players, though.
She said: “You always look forward to challenges like this. They’re very good players but at the end of the day we’re all human. It’s important not to think too much about the individuals we’re going to come up against and more about what we’re going to achieve ourselves and what our plans are.
“The format of these games is great. Personally I quite like having that little break in the middle as the home side. It’s pretty intense only having about 20 minutes between matches. It’s down to personal preference really but having more time to re-group between games is always handy.”