CAPTAIN Brett D’Oliveira believes Worcestershire Rapids have ‘genuine match-winners from one to eleven’ after securing a third successive Vitality Blast win against Notts Outlaws at New Road
D’Oliveira praised the way different individuals have stepped up when needed during the T20 campaign in which the second placed Rapids are challenging strongly for a quarter-final spot.
It was Ed Pollock who saw them over the line against the Outlaws with 38 not out from 25 balls after coming to the wicket with the game in the balance at 80-5.
Pollock and Adam Hose (33 not out) added an unbroken 60 to seal a seventh win in 11 games.
D’Oliveira said: “Every game is crucial in this competition and Nottinghamshire are an outstanding team, so really pleased to get over the line.
“I’m pleased with the whole team. At different times throughout the group stages, different guys have stood up at different times.
“I’ve said on numerous occasions that one to eleven in our team at the moment, we’ve got genuine match winners.
“It’s just about backing their ability and being nice and confident and we hope in each game someone different stands up.
“That’s really crucial throughout a 14 game period and today we saw that with Dillon Pennington with the ball.
“I thought he was outstanding at the top again. To bowl three overs in the powerplay is never easy and he’s done it really well the last couple of games.
“Ed Pollock, to score 38 there off 25 balls at the end of the game and get us over the line was outstanding.
“Adam Hose sub-conciously just let Ed go to the party and play his strong shots and they complimented each other really well and Ed took on the aggressive options at the right times.
“Needing seven an over when he went in was tough and he adapted really well to the conditions.
“He hit the ball cleaner than anyone else all day and that is credit to him and credit to the way he has been training.”
Pollock has moved down the order from his accustomed opening role during the T20 campaign.
D’Oliveira said: “He’s used to opening the batting in white ball cricket and we obviously signed Michael Bracewell which obviously put a little bit of a thorn in his side.
“But he was very open about wanting to do what the team asked for, and that’s all I can ask of him, and I’ve just said to him up there that 38 off 25 balls in that situation is equivalent to 100 off 50 balls opening the batting.
“To be able to bat number one or number seven, and still win us a game of cricket, is a credit to him as a human being and a cricketer.”
The Rapids will now take on current leaders Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston on Friday evening after a campaign in which they won the opening four games, were beaten in the next four after some tight finishes, and then bounced back with a trio of victories.
D’Oliveira said: “I’ve said to the group many times that in a 14 game period you are never going to win every game and you are going to have ebbs and flows and we might still have those.
“But the important thing is that we stay consistent with our emotions, that we back our tactics, and that’s what we’ve done so far and hopefully we carry on winning.
“Always a big game against Birmingham, we love going to Edgbaston, the boys are ready to cop some stick, which we always do, but looking forward to that and hopefully we can get another victory.
“We are just taking it game by game and we will go into that with a similar mindset, looking to be aggressive and hopefully come out with that win.”