In a rain-affected game, the Birmingham Bears defeated the Notts Outlaws by seven wickets, getting the better of the Duckworth Lewis calculation.
When the Outlaws dismissed Varun Chopra in the first over of the Bears innings, they may have harboured hopes of defending their low total of 149-9. But then the rains came and the revised target of 98 off 11 overs proved to be well within the Bears’ capabilities, thanks to 38 off 24 balls from Ian Bell and an undefeated 37 off 23 from William Porterfield. Even 8 consecutive dot balls from Ben Hilfenhaus couldn’t prevent the Bears cantering to a win with four balls to spare.
At the start of the night, with rain threatening, the Bears won the toss and asked the Outlaws to bat on the same strip that had been so full of runs in Tuesday’s ODI.
Captain Riki Wessels got the Outlaws off to a flying start with 39 off 19 balls. He hit Jeetan Patel for two sixes and two fours in his first over, which is the equivalent of going to the Vatican and swearing at the Pope. But Recordo Gordon put paid to Wessels’ efforts and showed that, having amended his faulty action, he has added both pace and control.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby, too, is developing as a bowler, with the ability to serve up yorkers at the death. He took three wickets in his last two overs to finish with 4-29.
Thanks to Wessels, after seven overs the Outlaws were 72-3. The Bears then applied a mid-innings squeeze. The next six overs yielded only 25 runs; and in total the final 13 overs only produced 77 runs.
The Bears’ bowlers were their usual persistent selves and the fielders gave nothing away. Young leg spinner Josh Poysden bowled to a full length with great confidence and deserved his figures of 1-18 off three overs.
James Taylor, released by England, lingered for 26 balls and 23 runs but never really got going. It was left to Darren Sammy to up the pace. His 25 off 18 balls included two sixes, one of which cracked a plate glass window on the third tier of the pavilion stand at wide long-on.
Overall, the Outlaws will have felt that their total of 149-9 was well below par. But at least the runs were on the board; and when Ben Hilfenhaus forced Varun Chopra into an edge to first slip, the Outlaws’ prospects looked brighter. That’s when the weather and Messrs Duckworth and Lewis took a decisive hand.
Man of the Match: Oliver Hannon-Dalby for his excellent spell of bowling that produced figures of 4-29, just beating the batting efforts of William Porterfield and Ian Bell. There needs to be a special mention for Darren Sammy for the shot of the night that produced the smashed window.