About the Match
Things looked done and dusted for Worcestershire before they won a couple of close matches to be within touching distance of the teams up front. Another few wins and the Rapids will be right in the mix of things once again. To get there though, they first have to try and find a way past Northamptonshire that is looking to win this match and find a place at the top of the table for itself.
The decision to have John Hastings open the batting finally paid off as he scored an aggressive fifty from just 20 balls including 5 towering sixes. That and the fact that Joe Clarke seems to have to hit peak form at just the right time has given the Rapids a pretty intimidating opening pair.
It remains to be seen whether Hastings can continue to do the job with any measure of consistency but the thinking behind this move cannot be faulted.
Worcestershire would also be a little disappointed that Whiteley was unable to really build on his six hitting after the magnificent feat of hitting six in one over. A return to form for him would make this Worcestershire batting lineup even more deadly than it has been in the last few matches.
Doing the job that many expected Whiteley to be doing has been Brett D’Oliveira. His aggressive hitting in the lower order helped Worcestershire score an above par 190 in the last match, something that was just enough to upset an in form Birmingham Bears team.
It is not easy to get the bowling right in T20 cricket but John Hastings would have expected to do better in the tournament than he has up until now. His figures of 4 overs for 44 runs without a wicket were indicative of the poor form he has been carrying.
Luckily for Worcestershire though, Mitchell Santner has been stepping up and providing them with wickets and control through his spell of four overs.
The last match was an odd one for Northamptonshire. The defending champions started off brilliantly thanks to a 71 from Richard Levi but an inability to get Junaid Khan and Matt Parkinson left them with a below par total of 158 from 20 overs.
They also began brilliantly in their bowling stint as they had Lancashire 25 for 5 before Ryan McLaren threatened to take the game away. Lancashire eventually fell short by just 9 runs.
Still, a win is a win and they would now want to get another much more comprehensive one against Worcestershire in this match.
There are plenty of positives for Northants to take with them in this match including the phenomenal form of Richard Levi. He has 280 runs from 5 innings in this tournament and has hit 16 sixes already. Levi is changing the game for Northants as he did when they won the title last year.
The bowling form of Rory Kleinveldt and Richard Gleeson, both of whom took three wickets in the last match, is also very impressive and promises to keep Northants in the hunt as the knockouts approach.
There is something to be said about a team that just knows how to win T20 matches and Northamptonshire seem to be exactly in that space right now.
Pitch and Conditions
A cloudy day which should remain dry for the duration of the match has been forecast. The boundaries at Worcester are small and invite the batsmen to take them on, which we have no doubt that Levi and company will attempt doing.
Northamptonshire to wi