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County target rapid response to defeat
SKIPPER Daryl Mitchell is looking for Worcestershire Rapids to react in positive fashion to the home reversal against Lancashire Lightning in tonight’s NatWest T20 Blast derby with Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston (6.30pm).
The Rapids’ proud eight-game unbeaten run in the competition – six wins followed by two wash-outs – came to an end in a 50-run reversal and they have slipped out of the top two in the North Group.
Mitchell says it will be “a good test” against the Bears, but is the sort of game “you want to play for” and he is relishing the challenge of putting on a good performance against the County’s rivals from up the M5.
He said: “It is a good test as to how we are going to come back at Edgbaston. You are going to lose games of cricket, simple as that, and fortunately we haven’t lost too many this year.
“It’s all about how you bounce back from the defeats and hopefully we can put on a good show at Edgbaston.”
Mitchell, the Rapids' leading run-scorer in the competition, added: “It is always good up there.
“I remember a game very early in my career that was at Edgbaston so it is always a good place to play, a good place to go.
“There will be a few people there and hopefully we can perform well in front of them.
“They are outstanding mat-ches.
“It’s what you want to play for.
"You want to play in front of big crowds and with a little bit of rivalry there as well with it being a local derby.
“They are normally good occasions and hopefully the weather is good and we can get a positive result.”
Rapids director of cricket Steve Rhodes added: “It is a massive game and they will be up for revenge because we really gave them a mauling at Worcester. To be honest, they will be desperate to put things right.
“I anticipate a pretty lively wicket at Edgbaston.
“I think it will go through and they will probably play a couple of their quicker bowlers. We will have to be ready for that and hopefully we will have a good night.”
Rhodes has been involved in numerous memorable clashes at the second city Test match venue during his 30 years as a player and coach with Worcestershire.
He said: “It’s a great place to go, a great atmosphere at Edgbaston when you get a full-house crowd.
“I’m pretty sure if the weather is good we will have at least 15,000 there, which will be magnificent.
“We’ve played a few games there where we’ve won and played a few games there where we’ve lost.”
Rhodes added: “It’s a tremendous place to go and play a Twenty20 game.”