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Rapids top of North despite rain

North Group front-runners Worcestershire Rapids and top-four rivals Yorkshire Vikings suffered a NatWest T20 Blast washout for the second Friday in succession as rain set in at New Road from 5pm.

Having shot to the top of the group during a club-record run of six consecutive wins, the Rapids remain on course for a quarter-final place despite encountering bad weather for the first time in the campaign with last week’s call-off against Nottinghamshire Outlaws.

For Yorkshire, their chances of qualifying for the knock-out stage are more in the balance after a soggy end to a crowded programme of five Twenty20 games in eight days.

They have taken four points in all, two from a victory over Leicestershire Foxes and one apiece from the rained-off games against Lancashire Lightning and Worcestershire, but inconsistency showed up in defeats by Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge and Durham Jets at Headingley.

The batting collapse against Durham in midweek, when they were bowled out for 95 in 17.2 overs, took them close to their lowest total in the competition.

First-team coach Jason Gillespie said the performance was “unacceptable” but his call for an immediate improvement at Worcester came to nothing.

As expected the clouds rolled in shortly before the scheduled starting time and, while the rain was never a downpour, there was never much chance of getting the ground ready.

Umpires Jeff Evans and Richard Illingworth made the inevitable decision at 7.05pm.

For Illingworth, a former championship-winning player with Worcestershire, it was a disappointing first appearance at New Road as an umpire.

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes is hoping that a run of bad weather does not impact on future attendances.

"We hope they don't think they (the fans) have had enough of this," he said after the Rapids' second successive abandonment.

"It's very disappointing not to be able to get any cricket. We can't do anything about the weather but it has hit us hard the last two Fridays.

"Let's keep our fingers crossed that Sunday is a bright day and we can get some cricket (against Lancashire at New Road)."

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