Worcestershire: Ross Whiteley enjoys 'licence' for six-hitting

Ross Whiteley
Ross Whiteley has now hit 216 runs from 116 balls in his last six innings for Worcestershire in Twenty20 cricket

Worcestershire's big-hitting batsman Ross Whiteley says having 'licence to attack' at the end of an innings is the key to his six-hitting feats.

Until last July, Whiteley had not hit a fifty in 12 months with the county after arriving from Derbyshire.

But since making 84 not out to earn them a place in the 2014 quarter-finals, the 25-year-old has truly found his touch, hitting 19 sixes.

"I really enjoy coming at the end and having that freedom," he said.

"I do enjoy that part of the game. I've got the licence to attack. That's why I'm held back towards the end because I probably play my best cricket with a bit of freedom.

"I know I can clear the ropes and in different parts of the ground."

Ross Whiteley's last six Twenty20 knocks
2014 - 84no (nine sixes) v Derbyshire, 17 (1 six) v Surrey
2015 - 33 (1 six) v Warwickshire, 26no (3 sixes) v Leicestershire, 20no (1 six) v Northants, 36 (four sixes) v Notts

Whiteley nearly rescued Worcestershire single-handed in last Sunday's televised home game against Nottinghamshire when, with his team needing 57 off four overs, he walloped four sixes.

Two of them were huge blows, over wide mid-on at the Diglis End and then over mid-wicket in the direction of the the River Seven, both disappearing out of the ground and into the car park.

In the end, he was yorked in the penultimate over by Harry Gurney and Worcestershire lost by 11 runs, but his match-winning efforts as a' finisher' in the county's two previous games against Leicestershire and Northants, coupled with last summer's 84 off 36 balls to beat his old county Derbyshire are starting to earn the former Repton schoolboy the right sort of reputation.

"He has unbelievable velocity," said Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes. "We're happy we don't have to bowl at him. With his high back lift and big follow through, he hits it further than all our batters."

The left-hander will look to advance that newly-acquired reputation further when Worcestershire head north to Chester-le-Street on Friday to take on North Group leaders Durham, who are four points ahead, but have played three more matches.