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Worcestershire Rapids continued to build on the momentum they had to stay at the top of the table as they secured a narrow win against Birmingham Bears. The Rapids will now be up against Derbyshire Falcons who lost their first match to Lancashire Lightning. The match will be played at County Cricket Ground, Derbyshire on 8th June 2018.
The Falcons were demolished by Liam Livingstone's brilliant knock as he smashed the first century of the season. The Falcons didn't have the best of the starts and slumped to 21 for two with both openers back in the hut. Their new signing, Calum Macleod, and Wayne Madsen stitched together a good partnership for 86 before Macleod departed in a quest to score quick runs. He scored 44 off 37 deliveries. Madsen continued to hit boundaries and push the score, but due to lack of support from the other end, even he could take Derbyshire's total to no farther than 161. He remained unbeaten for 76 in his 49-ball knock.
Similar to their batting where they struggled from the start, their bowlers appeared listless and lacked ideas to take wickets. Liam Livingstone got out to Wahab Riaz after getting a hundred with Lancashire just two runs away from a win. Hardus Viljoen and Matt Critchley, in particular, were carted away to all parts of the ground as they gave away 48 runs in their three overs combined.
The Falcons failed miserably with both bat and ball in their first match. While their performance with the bat was reasonable, bowlers had to toil hard to stop runs from leaking. It's going to be a tough game against the Rapids, but the Falcons certainly are capable of beating even the best in the business.
BT Slater, MJJ Critchley, Calum MacLeod, WL Madsen, AL Hughes, GC Wilson, D Smit, Anuj Dal, Wahab Riaz, Lockie Ferguson, Ravi Rampaul.
Worcestershire Rapids had a great 24-hour period where they notched two wins in two matches to rise to the top of the table. First, they defeated Lancashire in a chase which lasted till penultimate delivery of the match and then they went on to defend a similar sort of total against Birmingham Bears.
Martin Guptill started in a rather sedate fashion against the Bears but upped the ante after Joe Clarke departed for a quick 14-ball 33. He got to the half-century off 38 deliveries which included one six and seven fours. Callum Ferguson, too, contributed with a well-made 45. Ross Whitely played a crucial knock of 17-ball 34 which propelled their total to 191.
Bowlers did a fine job of restricting Warwickshire Bears as they picked up wickets at important junctures. Had it not been for the last Birmingham pair, they'd won the match by a bigger margin. Their young bowlers, Pat Brown, dismissed Ian Bell in his opening over to set the tone for the innings. Brown and Ed Barnard picked up six wickets between them to derail Worcestershire chase. Ed Barnard returned with the figures of 4-0-29-3 while had similar figures, but gave away a run less than Barnard.
Martin Guptill, Joe Clarke, Callum Ferguson, Ben Cox, Ross Whiteley, Brett D Oliveira, Ed Barnard, Daryl Mitchell, Dillon Pennington, Luke Wood, Patrick Brown.
Derbyshire have just played one game, so it's kind of difficult to judge their bowling based on that. They have some fine players both in the batting as well as bowling department. Worcestershire were exceptional in both their games and going by the recent form, they are favorites to topple the Falcons in the upcoming encounter.
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