COACH Alex Gidman says Worcestershire Rapids’ performances in the Vitality Blast have been even more meritorious given the stop-start nature of their involvement in the competition so far.

Whilst most counties have been able to focus solely on the Blast for the past month, Rapids have had small blocks of T20 games either side of red-ball games against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham and Australia.

After this week’s away Blast matches with Derbyshire Falcons on Tuesday (7pm) and Durham on Thursday, they will again switch back to Specsavers County Championship Division Two action away to Northamptonshire on Sunday.

But Gidman said the “fantastic” efforts of the players in coming to terms with the schedule had enabled them to mount a strong challenge in the Blast.

“I won’t lie, it has been a challenge,” Gidman said.

“Most other teams have got into the rhythm of playing (T20) and probably had loads of practises.

“We’ve barely had a practice day for our games which makes the performances probably even better and the position we are in.

“We’ve chopped and changed formats and had to juggle rest and time away with preparing.

“We’ve probably had three or four practice sessions in the whole competition so far, which has been a challenge, but the lads have been fantastic.

“We look forward to this week and trying to get a couple of wins on the road.”

The single point collected by Rapids from the wash-out against Northamptonshire Steelbacks on Sunday kept them level on points with second-placed Notts Outlaws – and they have a game in hand.

Gidman said: “Sunday was really disappointing and frustrating for everyone.

“Everyone tried their hardest. The ground-staff were amazing, but the little showers kept coming in.

“When it rains, points are never the worst thing in the world and we’ve got a game in hand over a couple of teams as well.

“You obviously want more but it’s worst if you are trying to play catch-up.

“It was disappointing, but we keep chipping away with the points.

“Hopefully we will get a couple of wins at some stage which will push us up there.”

Worcestershire will travel up to Derby on Tuesday and then head straight to Durham for Thursday’s fixture.

Gidman said: “Every game is important whether you are winning the group by five points or are at the bottom.

“You still want to try your best to win every single game. There is a huge amount to play for regardless of what position you are in.

“We happen to be in a position where if we win one or both of those games, we are in really good shape.

“Our aim is to win every game we play and we will give them a really good crack.”