Captain Cobb the hero as Steelbacks cruise past Rapids

The Steelbacks saw off the Rapids on Friday night (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
The Steelbacks saw off the Rapids on Friday night (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Josh Cobb produced a captain's innings as the Steelbacks finished their Vitality T20 Blast campaign with a real flourish.

Cobb cracked 62 from 32 balls, including a whopping seven sixes, to delight the sizeable County Ground crowd on a warm Friday night in Northampton.

Graeme White

Graeme White

Adam Rossington had got the chase off to a flying start with 54 from 30 balls, and Cobb then took up the challenge, smashing the Rapids bowling into the stands.

The Steelbacks completed their chase with seven balls to spare, hunting down already qualified Worcestershire's 188 for five to win by seven wickets.

After winning the toss, Worcestershire made a steady start, with Hamish Rutherford helping himself to a few fours.

But Nathan Buck struck, having Rutherford caught by Alex Wakely for 18 as the Steelbacks got the early breakthrough they wanted.

Blessing Muzarabani

Blessing Muzarabani

That only served to bring Moeen Ali to the middle though, and the Rapids skipper looked strong as he started to pile on the runs.

He built an impressive partnership with Riki Wessels before the England all-rounder departed for 51, which he made from 31 balls. Dwaine Pretorius grabbed the wicket.

Wessels carried on as he started to up his own rate before eventually falling to Blessing Muzarabani for 45.

That sparked the Steelbacks into life as they soon got rid of Ross Whiteley for two, giving Rob Keogh the first of his two wickets.

But by the time Keogh struck again, Ben Cox had got the Rapids moving once more, with Tom Fell, who departed for just seven off Keogh, unable to add to much to the tally.

Cox kept going though, and his unbeaten 44 helped to post a challenging total.

But with nothing but pride to play for, the Steelbacks looked unflustered early in the reply as Richard Levi and Rossington went about their work in fine fashion.

There was plenty of applause for the pair as they steamrollered their way to 59 without loss from just five overs, but Ali struck with the first ball of the sixth, having Levi stumped for 16.

But Rossington remained and he reached his half-century from 25 balls, having racked up four fours and as many sixes.

However, he was to depart soon after thanks to a brilliant Wessels catch off the bowling of Ed Barnard.

Barnard was not able to enjoy such a good time against Cobb, though. In fact, he had a disastrous one during a stunning 11th over in which the Steelbacks skipper hit four sixes in five balls to bring up his team's ton.

Cobb was playing superbly, raising his bat to the raucous home crowd after reaching his 50 with yet another trademark six, his seventh of an imperious innings.

He was applying so much pressure that Joe Leach bowled an extremely high no-ball, showing just how much trouble the Rapids were having against Cobb.

The carnage just kept going as Worcestershire failed to find any answer to Cobb, who was in dismissive mood.

But Pat Brown finally got his man as Daryl Mitchell showed a safe pair of hands at cover.

It wasn't going to be enough for Worcestershire though as Pretorius, who had done some serious striking of his own, and Wakely steered the Steelbacks home with ease.

Steelbacks: Levi, Rossington (wk), Cobb (c), Pretorius, Wakely, Keogh, Ashraf, Sole, White, Buck, Muzarabani.

Worcestershire Rapids: Rutherford, Wessels, Ali (c), Fell, Cox (wk), Whiteley, Barnard, Mitchell, Leach, Pennington, Brown.