The Birmingham Bears continued their unbeaten start to their T20 Blast campaign with a comprehensive win by 49 runs over Derbyshire Falcons. Sam Hain and Adam Hose were the stars with the bat, with knocks of 85 and 69 respectively, before the Bears’ bowling attack produced an impressive all-round display to limit the Falcons to 156-9.
Sam Hain and Adam Hose came together when the Bears were 20-2, after Ed Pollock and Michael Burgess had disappointed up front. Hain played the more composed innings, happy to knock into the spaces and run, whilst Hose was more explosive, not afraid to play the big shots. The way he tucked into Darren Stevens, taking 14 off one over, was particularly impressive given the 43 year-old’s ability to tie batsmen down.
It was actually a surprise when their 113 run partnership was broken by Hose, edging through to Daryl Smit off Logan Van Beek, because of its measured tone.
That wicket only brought Ashton Agar to the crease and his sprightly 24 was crucial in pushing the total upwards, although Hain releasing the shackles by hitting back-to-back sixes off an expensive 19th over by Van Beek – that also included a wide and a no ball – tipped the Bears over the magic 200 mark.
If there was ever a lesson in how not to bowl a nineteenth over, this was it. Ravi Rampaul dismissed both Agar and Hain within the first three balls, but the damage was done and the hosts finished on 205-5 leaving Derbyshire a seemingly tough chase.
And so it proved, as the Falcons made the worst possible start to the innings – although Luke Reece is not, and will not be, the only batsman to be cleaned up by Fidel Edwards, who looks like an incredibly astute overseas signing.
If that dismissal was forgiveable, Wayne Madsen’s was the complete opposite. Billy Godleman dropped a ball into the offside and set off for a single that was never there leaving his partner, who looked in good touch, stranded and Derbyshire on 20-2 with a mountain to climb.
From that point onwards, the chase never looked likely even if Leus De Plooy impressed with the bat in making 70. The problem was that no one stayed with him. Godleman looked the most likely, even if he appeared out of touch, but he was run out himself. That one had more to do with Jeetan Patel’s brilliant fielding off his own bowling than the batsmen’s misjudgement.
Stevens, Matt Critchley and Fynn Hudson-Prentice all failed to reach double figures, and the Bears shared the wickets between them. Only Daryl Smit put up any real resistance but by that time, the chase was well out of reach and the game was gone.
The Bears move top of the North Group with 5 points from 3 games, and Derbyshire move down to sixth with 2 points from 2 games.