HOLDERS Worcestershire Rapids are through to the Vitality Blast quarter-finals.

Today’s North Group encounter with Notts Outlaws at Blackfinch New Road was abandoned without a ball bowled.

But the single point acquired enabled Rapids to join Outlaws, Lancashire Lightning and Derbyshire Falcons in the last eight.

Rapids will now be vying with Outlaws for second spot in the group and a home tie when the North Group is completed on Friday.

Worcestershire travel to take on Northamptonshire Steelbacks (6.30pm) while Outlaws do battle with Durham at Trent Bridge.

A Rapids win and defeat for Outlaws would mean a home quarter-final tie for Worcestershire.

Steady rain began falling at 3pm today, an hour before the scheduled start, and there was little let-up before umpires Martin Saggers and Alex Wharf called off play at 5.20pm.

It was Rapids' third home match in seven during this summer’s Blast campaign that has been called off without a ball bowled.

Meanwhile, Ross Whiteley is looking to make an impact in the latter stages of the T20 competition after demonstrating his fearsome power with the bat against leaders Lightning on Sunday.

The all-rounder smashed 89 off just 40 balls at Blackfinch New Road and brought up his 100th T20 six for Rapids.

It was a return to his best for Whiteley and he will be striving to continue in the same vein for the rest of the tournament.

He said: “It was a tough wicket to get in on. You had to give yourself a few deliveries and then once you get the pace of the game it gets easier.

“My form has not been how I would have liked it for the start of the tournament but hopefully now with the crunch games coming up I can be out there and putting match-winning performances in.

“It’s been very disappointing. I’ve probably not had a tournament like this for a long time where I’ve been lean on runs.

“But where I bat in the order it’s about match-winning partnerships or innings and that can be just six off one ball or 80 off 30.

“It’s tough. It’s not gone my way but hopefully I’ve got some momentum for those crucial games and can help get us into a qualification spot.”

Whiteley finished two runs short of his personal best Blast score for Rapids of 91 off 35 balls against Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley four years ago when he smashed 11 sixes.

There was even a chance going into the final over that a couple of big blows could have taken him to a century but that was not on his mind.

He added: “To be honest I didn’t really know what score I was on.

“I was just looking at the bottom right (on the scoreboard) where it says how many are needed to win.

“It is irrelevant whether I get a 100 or not. It’s not about that. It’s about the team.”