A last ball decider saw Birmingham Bears beat Somerset by four runs in a rain reduced, 12 over game at Taunton.
A 55* from Sam Hain, who joined Michael Burgess to take 22 off the final over of the Bears’ innings, ultimately won this for the away side. Warwickshire’s bowlers all chipped in and held their nerve, in a much improved 12 over bowling and fielding display that that we saw during Wednesday’s Ian Cockbain demolition.
Somerset won the toss and, seemingly, chose correctly in opting to field. Ian Bell (back in for Dan Mousley, having missed Wednesday’s game) was caught and bowled without scoring.
On return to his old stomping ground, Adam Hose just evaded an absolute snorter from Lewis Gregory first up and was then caught behind second ball. The Bears struggled in overcast conditions; 2-2 after 2.
Ed Pollock’s breezy 20 came to an end when one wild hack too many was held at deep third man: caught James Hildreth, bowled Josh Davey. 30-3
After a 50 partnership with Sam Hain, Will Rhodes lost his middle stump to Tom Lammonby (in for Ben Green, who had a niggle) as rain started to fall, 83-3 after 10.3.
That over was completed before a delay of more than an hour saw the game eventually reduced to a 12 overs per side match, restarting at 9pm. That meant the Bears would have to bat for one more over, then have their score upped by DLS.
The belated last over from Ollie Sale proved to be very expensive, Hain hitting two boundaries, Burgess a six, then Hain nearly running himself out on 49. Hain then managed to hit the final ball of the innings for six to reach 55*, 22 off the over.
The Bears’ 107-4 was then DLS’d up to 125.
Babar Azam hit a six off the first ball of the reply, but two balls later Tim Bresnan had him caught behind by Burgess.
Steve Davies departed first ball: a short ball pulled well, but a good diving catch from mid-on by Rhodes running around, Ollie Stone the bowler. 14-2.
Hildreth went straight on the charge – literally – against the pace of Stone. Four through cover then six over third man, then four to cow, all played off about 20 yards to one of the quickest bowlers in England.
Tom Abell creamed four over backward point, then a similar short wide one from Brookes was juggled by Stone at cover but he clung on. Somerset 34-2 after 2.5.
Hildreth was run out for 25 at the non-striker’s end and, for good measure, pulled his hamstring in doing so. Jeetan Patel’s over had been miserly, a failed switch hit prompting a cheeky call for one by Eddie Byrom. 36-4 off 3.4.
Byrom would have been desperate to make up for running out Hildreth, but was shortly after caught at long on for just eight. Somerset were down to just the allrounders before the halfway point of their innings.
When former Somerset wrist-spinner Jake Lintott had Gregory lbw for six, the win was pretty much confirmed. Lammonby and Roelof van der Merwe played some nice shots, but the top order had failed to do their job and the Bears fielding was vastly improved tonight.
Lammonby hit some stunning blows to finish 43* but could not get the six off the final ball for a tie. The away side ran out winners by four runs.