Moeen Ali and Ben Cox say there's more to come from Worcestershire after Vitality Blast title win
By Keith Moore
Last Updated: 16/09/18 4:43pm
Moeen Ali and Ben Cox said there is more to come from Worcestershire after the Rapids won the Vitality Blast final against Sussex on Saturday.
Worcestershire beat Lancashire by 20 runs in the first semi-final of the day, before successfully chasing down the Sharks' 157-6 in the final to win by five wickets after Cox scored 46 not out from 27 deliveries at the death.
Ali starred with the ball on Saturday - returning figures of 2-16 in the first game and 3-30 in the showpiece - but also scored 41 runs in each of his innings, and says there is more to come from the Rapids after they claimed their first Vitality Blast title.
"I am chuffed and delighted for the boys," said Ali. "Mitch [Daryl Mitchell] actually elbowed me straight in the nose so I had to give myself a couple of minutes. I was calm inside but I just knew we were going to win the game.
"I thought a quarter-final at home was a tough one mentally but we managed to get over that and I knew today that we would play our best cricket.
"I still think we can get better but we were amazing today in the crucial moments in the games.
"Credit goes to Bumpy Rhodes [former Worcestershire coach Steve Rhodes] for bringing these guys up. We are reaping the fruits now.
"You try and give everything you can, show why you play international cricket, have a bit of pride about yourself and try to contribute and win games."
Cox, who was awarded Player of the Match in both games, hit 55 from 34 deliveries in the earlier match before guiding his side to victory in the 19th over of the final. The 26-year-old echoed Ali's belief that the Rapids have more success ahead of them.
"We've topped both competitions in both group stages, and we've been building this for years now," said Cox. "This isn't just luck, we've been building for four or five years, and it's nice to put in a performance today and lift that trophy.
"We didn't play our best game in the first game, but I thought the boys set the tone fantastically there in the final.
"To keep them to 158, the lowest score of the day, is outstanding. Credit goes to those bowlers; we won it in the first half."
Cox says the key to Worcestershire's success lies in the camaraderie within the camp.
"We grew up together, most of us, we've played a long time together. We're going to enjoy our success," said the wicketkeeper.
"We're a tight-knit group and we'll have a beer together, enjoy it and soak it all in. It's one of those days where we're never going to forget it."
Another player to shine on Saturday was Pat Brown, who bowled four overs in each game, taking figures of 4-21 in the semi-final and 0-15 in the final.
"Brownie's been outstanding this whole competition," said Cox. "He's one of the finest death bowlers in the country, and at 19 or 20 years old he's our go-to bowler. That's a hell of a sign for such a young lad."
Worcestershire were beaten by Kent in the semi-final of the Royal London One Day Cup in June, with the winning runs coming from Brown's over, and Cox says the experience has helped build the bowler's resolve.
"Brownie had a tough semi-final at home - on TV - and we lost that game. But it's probably one of the best things that will ever happen to him, because he's come back so strong.
"He's putting in performances on the big stage in front of a full Edgbaston crowd when you need it. That's what you want. He's 19 or 20 years old - it's fantastic to see."