Vitality Blast – Bears v Worcestershire Rapids,  Edgbaston

Vitality Blast – Bears v Worcestershire Rapids,  Edgbaston

Ed Pollock. Pic via Birmingham Bears YouTube, with thanks

On a superb hybrid pitch and in front of a home crowd of around 18,000, the Bears achieved the biggest run victory ever in English domestic T20 history, beating their local rivals by 144 runs.

The Bears (who are quietly dropping ‘Birmingham’ from their title) dominated every over except the first of their innings, in which Mitchell Stanley took two wickets.  Thereafter, outbatted, outbowled and outfielded, the Rapids looked and played like a side at the bottom of the table and low in spirits.

The Bears’ innings was dominated by a hundred from Adam Hose, who scored an unbeaten 110 off just 53 balls with 13 fours and four sixes.  Not deemed good enough to play in the Bears’ four day team, he has taken some time to establish himself at Edgbaston. But, when it comes to T20 cricket, he must surely now be first on the team sheet.  He displayed an astonishing range of shots, from the brutal to the subtle, all round the wicket.

Hose was well supported by Dan Mousley, an excellent prospect who is fit again after injury problems have disrupted his progress in the last year.

Perhaps it is best to say as little as possible about the Worcestershire bowling.  A total of 17 wides not only swelled the score but meant that they failed to bowl their overs on time and were forced to bring an extra man into the circle.

When the Rapids batted, the biggest threat to the Bears was a heavy rain shower which, had it turned into a downpour before five overs were bowled, would have led to a no-result.  But, to the delight of all but the Rapids’ supporters, it desisted and the Bears worked their way inexorably through the fragile Rapids batting order. Brett D’Oliveira and Dwayne Bravo joined Alex Davies, Sam Hain and Carlos Brathwaite from the Bears line-up, all of whom had first-ballers.  

Only Colin Munro and Kashif Ali made double figures as the Rapids tumbled to 84 all out in just 15.3 overs.

Danny Briggs became the first bowler in domestic T20 history to reach 200 wickets.  He claimed four scalps and the other spinners, Jake Lintott and that man Mousley again took three between them.  Equally impressive was the sight of a fit-again Olly Stone charging in to take two wickets.

The Bears’ outfielding and catching put their opponents to shame, Craig Miles and Briggs taking two catches each.

Just to crown their evening, the Bears left the pitch to find that Derbyshire had beaten Lancashire so the Edgbaston team now top the North Group table.  Finals Day next month in front of their home crowd is enticing prospect that is well within their sights.


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