Riki Wessels smashes fastest fifty of the ongoing Natwest T20 Blast season
Just a day after Lancashire's Jos Buttler created headlines smashing 57 off 22 balls, a knock which saw him bring up his half-century off just 20 balls despite battling through the pain after picking up an injury to his left thumb while keeping wickets, Worcestershire were on the receiving end of yet another brutal hammering as Nottinghamshire’s Riki Wessels went one better on Buttler bringing up his fifty off just 17 balls en route his unbeaten 80 off just 35 balls.
His innings helped his side to an easy victory in their Natwest T20 Blast encounter on Saturday.
30-year-old Riki, who is a right-handed batsman and wicketkeeper, has earned fame more as the son of the legendary Kepler Wessels. However, with his brutal knock today he has shown that he can earn a name for himself in the modern game.
If the bowlers were to blame for on Friday, having failed to defend a total of 198, it was the turn of the Worcestershire batsmen to share the blame as a total of 124 was never going to be enough to defy Nottinghamshire who were playing in front of their own fans.
Any hopes the away side might have had of an unlikely victory evaporated as soon as the Nottinghamshire openers - Riki Wessels and Michael Lumb – got their run chase off to a quick-fire start. Despite Lumb’s relatively early dismissal for 14, Greg Smith, who came in at the No 3 spot, played the ideal supporting role to Riki, allowing the latter to flex his arms against the helpless Worcestershire bowling attack.
Riki made his intentions pretty clear early on, smashing Joe Leach for two boundaries and two sixes as early as the second over. He brought up his fifty off just 17 balls – the quickest half-century in the competition this season – and continued his blitz as he raced to 80 of just 35 balls as his side chased down the target of 125 in just the 13th over with nine wickets to spare.
Apart from Riki, the bowlers too played their part in the victory with all but one bowler tried out by skipper Dan Christian – South Africa’s Imran Tahir, easily the most high-profile bowler in their ranks – picking up a wicket at least. With their second victory in as many days, Nottinghamshire has now moved up to the second spot in the North Group table.