Steelbacks suffer more disappointment as Ali leads Rapids to victory

Northamptonshire Steelbacks suffered more Royal London One Day Cup disappointment as Azhar Ali led Worcester Rapids to a six-wicket win via the DLS Method at Wantage Road.
Ricardo VasconcelosRicardo Vasconcelos
Ricardo Vasconcelos

Ali delivered a commanding 130 to help the Rapids chase down a formidable target.

The Pakistan veteran defied cramp to put on a batting masterclass with 17 fours and one six, treating fans who had braved a rare cold day to some booming cover drives and shots over the infield as well as some sweetly timed strokes and scoops.

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He shared an enterprising partnership with 138 with rookie Taylor Cornall, who made the second half-century of his brief career.

While Azhar fell with 29 runs still needed, Worcestershire crossed the finish line with four balls to spare.

Earlier, Northants skipper Will Young (94 balls, six fours, three sixes) struck a battling unbeaten 104 from 94 balls in bowler friendly conditions to help his side post a competitive 248 for four despite two lengthy interruptions for rain which reduced the game to 39 overs a side.

Young struggled to find his timing early in his innings against the seaming ball on a sluggish pitch and reached the boundary just twice in his first 50 runs.

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He kept the scoreboard ticking though, bringing up his half-century from 72 balls, before putting his foot down and reaching three figures with two legside sixes in the final over of the innings.

Young shared a stand of 84 with Ricardo Vasconcelos (70) and one of 114 with keeper Lewis McManus (50).

But the total they helped to rack up didn't prove to be enough for the Steelbacks, who have now won just two of their six matches in this season's One Day Cup.