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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Batsmen ready to power Worcestershire to their first T20 Finals Day

Paceman Pat Brown can continue prolific run in Blast

Worcestershire's Moeen Ali celebrates his century against Birmingham Bears
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Worcestershire v Gloucestershire
Sky Sports Cricket, 3pm Saturday

Worcestershire narrowly missed out on a place in the One-Day Cup final, losing to Kent by two wickets in a thrilling semi-final, but they have a great chance of reaching the T20 Blast finals day for the first time.

The Rapids topped the North Group and are 8-11 favourites to see off a Gloucestershire side whose canny bowling attack troubled plenty of teams in the South Group.

However, white-ball matches at New Road tend to be high-scoring affairs and Worcestershire's superior batting firepower could prove decisive in the quarter-final.

The hosts received a huge boost with the news that Moeen Ali has been made available for this game.

The England all-rounder scored a double-century and took eight wickets in this week's County Championship win over Yorkshire, having smashed 115 off 56 balls in the final North Group game against Birmingham Bears.

But Moeen is far from the only threat to Gloucestershire's bowlers. Callum Ferguson and Joe Clarke have also scored heavily in limited-overs competitions this summer and Ross Whiteley is one of the county scene's most reliable power-hitters, scoring 275 runs at a strike-rate of 171 in the Blast this term.

Gloucestershire's top runscorer is Michael Klinger but the Australia veteran's 407 runs have come at a modest strike-rate of 115 and Worcestershire's bowlers are full of confidence.

South Africa all-rounder Wayne Parnell has been an excellent signing but youngster Pat Brown is a worthy favourite to be the Rapids' top wicket-taker.

Brown, who turned 20 on Thursday, claimed 27 scalps in 13 group matches – more than any other bowler in the competition. His figures at New Road were 3-28, 2-14, 3-34, 2-29, 2-21 and 3-28.

3pts 8-11 general
P Brown top Worcestershire wicket-taker
1pt 11-4 general

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Ross Whiteley is one of the county scene's most reliable power-hitters, scoring 275 runs at a strike-rate of 171 in the Blast this term
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