• Rapids chase down Sharks’ 157 with nine balls to spare
• Cox smashes winning runs and finishes 46 not out
Given the day out had begun almost eight hours previously, it was a show of restraint that we were a full 15 minutes into the final before we saw the first conga line. A similarly disciplined Worcestershire bowling performance meant the Finals Day debutants were crowned champions of the Vitality Blast, chasing down Sussex’s 157 with nine balls to spare.
Edgbaston will be full for a Finals Day that promises to show some of the game’s less heralded sides at their Twenty20 best
Surrey have already been crowned county champions, England have wrapped up a Test series victory over India and the football season is back in full flow. Now, three weeks after the Vitality Blast’s quarter-finals, Somerset, the Worcestershire Rapids, Lancashire Lightning and the Sussex Sharks descend on Birmingham on Saturday for Finals Day.
Women are at the heart of driving innovation in cricket – they are not being deterred from it because it is too difficult to understand
I was seven years old when I learnt the cub scout motto: be prepared. It seemed simple enough – a concept which any kid, or mum, might easily embrace. It is worrying therefore that the England and Wales Cricket Board’s most recent proposals, to make “cricket as simple as possible” so that even “mums and kids” might understand it, appears to be lacking in this most basic of areas – preparation.
• A version of this article was originally published in The Cricket Paper on 16 March 2018. To access the original, and to subscribe to my weekly column, please click here.
Isabelle Westbury reports on how the ‘British’ duo were signed as replacements with great success
There is something about defying expectations that suits the English. Label them favourites and they self-destruct. Make it clear from the outset that they are very much second best, however, and the English thrive.