Vitality Blast Match Report: Notts Outlaws v Birmingham Bears

Vitality Blast Match Report: Notts Outlaws v Birmingham Bears

Birmingham Bears put in a commanding performance at Trent Bridge against a Notts Outlaws side finding wins difficult to come by at the moment in the Vitality T20 Blast. The West Midlands side triumphed by nine wickets and 88 balls to spare. 

Outlaws, traditionally one of the stronger teams in the North Group, are in a period of transition with stalwarts such as Steve Mullaney, Dan Christian and Samit Patel no longer in the frame; it has been tough for the East Midlands-based club, and they struggled again against table toppers Birmingham Bears. 

The Outlaws’ batting didn’t get started through superb bowling from the Bears’ attack and some well-judged fielding, which left the Outlaws limping towards a total. Opening the batting, Ben Martindale found it difficult to make contact with the ball and was bowled emphatically by George Garton for three off eight balls. Ben Slater, playing his first Blast game of the campaign, was out to a juggling catch from Dan Mousley next ball and Garton was on a hat trick in the powerplay. 

Things didn’t get better for Notts, who were soon nine for three in the fourth over, when Joe Clarke edged Mousley to wicketkeeper Chris Benjamin. There was no let-up for the Outlaws’ batters as the Bears attacked shared the wickets between the seven bowlers used. Garton’s quick-fire double at the top started a skittling of the Notts batters and by the time Moeen Ali was brought on, the Outlaws had already lost six wickets. 

The spinners had been allowed to squeeze the middle overs, with Danny Briggs and Jake Lintott getting through their overs, conceding just 29 runs in their combined eight overs. There were ironic cheers from the Notts faithful when the Outlaws reached fifty from the 93rd ball of the innings; even the flame throwers weren’t sure if they should be celebrating. 

Only two Outlaws players reached double figures: Jack Haynes was the only member of the top order to do so, making13 from 25 balls, caught by Danny Briggs off the bowling of Lintott, while Lyndon James, the promising allrounder, made 15 from 23 balls. He was ninth out as the Outlaws were dismissed for just 57 in the 18th over. 

With such a low total it was a case of when and not if the Bears would reach the winning total. Although Ed Barnard was caught at mid-off for 12, to give Fazalhaq Farooqi a wicket in the third over, the Bears were on 24 by that stage, with only 34 more runs needed. 

Rob Yates looked in decent nick, dispatching Matthew Montgomery for three fours in the fourth over, leaving the Bears needing 14 runs from 16 overs. In the next over, with the total required diminishing by the second, he dispatched Fazalhaq Farooqi for six into the pavilion and he finished unbeaten on 35 from 19 balls, helping the Bears to a nine wicket win with 88 balls to spare. 

The victory reinforces the Bears’ position at the top of the North Group and with 16 points, they are all but guaranteed a quarter final spot, still with four matches to play.


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