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Rhodes: We will keep on fighting
STEVE Rhodes will keep faith in the Worcestershire side that suffered an agonising last-ball loss to Leicestershire Foxes last time out in the Clydesdale Bank 40 for today’s trip to Cheltenham to
tackle rivals Gloucestershire (1.45pm).
Following the Grace Road sickener, which saw the Royals concede 29 off the final two overs to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the New Road outfit now face a tough task to reach the 40-over competition’s knock-out stages.
However, director of cricket Rhodes insists his players will keep fighting for qualification from Group ‘A’ and the only change to his side will see batsman Neil Pinner come into the team to replace all-rounder Aneesh Kapil, who has now joined up with the England Under 19 squad to tour Australia.
The former England wicketkeeper said: “We don’t know how the defeat to Leicestershire will affect our qualification hopes, but all we can do is what we always do — go out there and try to win games of cricket until it is mathematically impossible.
“The result against Leicestershire was disappointing because we were on top for 90 per cent of the game, but we have addressed that now and spoken about the mistakes which cost us a win.”
As has been the case for most of the summer, today’s match is under threat from the rain and Rhodes admitted the lack of cricket is a real cause for frustration.
He said: “Gloucestershire’s match with Essex at Cheltenham on Sunday was washed out and we will have to wait and see how the ground is today.
“If it’s anything like it is here in Worcester, then it will be difficult.
“The weather this summer has been very frustrating for us but the only consolation is, if you pardon the pun, all the other teams are in the same boat as us.”
Focusing on today’s opponents, Rhodes believes the Gladiators are beginning to show signs of returning to the domestic one-day force they used to be.
He explained: “Gloucestershire are an emerging side and they are getting back a few of the things that held them in good stead back in their glory days of one-day cricket — aggressive fielding, solid bowling and sticking to their strengths.”
Worcestershire: Moeen, Solanki, Hughes, Cameron, Mitchell (c), Pinner, Andrew, Scott (wk), D’Oliveira, Lucas, Shantry.