Vitality Blast
Fri 9 June, 18:30


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Northants Steelbacks

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Report: Bears v Steelbacks, Vitality Blast

Bears returned to winning ways in the Vitality Blast with a 30-run victory over Northamptonshire Steelbacks in a low-scoring contest at Edgbaston.

Spinners dominated as the Bears, having chosen to bat, were bowled out for 137 in 18.5 overs after slow left-armer Freddie Heldreich took his competition-best four for 27. Heldreich took a wicket in each of his four overs as only Sam Hain (35, 31 balls) and Alex Davies (32, 18) passed 15 for the home side.

The Steelbacks’ reply was then even more emphatically smothered – 107 for nine from 20 overs – by the four-pronged home spin attack. Dan Mousley took three for 14 and Moeen Ali three for 16 before he now leaves to join England’s squad ahead of next week’s Ashes opener.

Davies supplied the Bears with a punchy and, it was to prove, priceless start despite quickly losing two partners. Rob Yates lifted Tom Taylor to deep square leg before Al skied David Willey to mid off.

Davies perished in pursuit of his third six when Saif Zaib took a well-judged catch on the rope in front of the Hollies Stand off Heldreich. That was the spinner’s fourth ball – he struck another big blow with his tenth which Glenn Maxwell, having smashed the previous ball into the South Stand’s third tier, chipped to extra cover.

Heldreich’s 17th sphere inflicted further damage when Mousley missed an attempted pull and fell lbw and when his 19th ousted Chris Benjamin, to another well-judged catch by Zaib at deep mid-wicket, the Bears were 93 for six. And when Hain was bowled, trying to make room to cut Zaib, a moderate total was assured.

The Steelbacks found the going even tougher against the twirlers, notably Mousley who took two crucial wickets for eight in his first two overs. The 21-year-old bowled Chris Lynn and Josh Cobb either side of taking a fine catch in the deep to remove the dangerous Emilio Gay (18, 15 balls) off Maxwell.

Ali then struck twice as Willey edged behind and Lewis McManus heaved to deep mid-wicket where the effervescent and ubiquitous Mousley took the catch. After ten overs, the Steelbacks had stuttered to 50 for five with 88 needed from the last ten.

Scoring at that rate in such conditions was out of the question. Zaib and Taylor nurdled 29 from 30 balls but Mousley returned to the attack to have Taylor caught at extra cover and Danny Briggs hit James Sales’ middle stump to collect his 249th T20 wicket.

A quest for 63 from the last five overs was hopeless. Zaib (25, 29 balls) was bowled behind his legs sweeping at Ali and the Steelbacks subsided swiftly under the shimmering mosaic of pinks, oranges and ochres in the dazzling iridescence of a Birmingham sunset.

Mousley said: “To defend 137 at Edgbaston which is notoriously a very flat wicket, we are absolutely ecstatic with. We adapted quickly. We knew after the first innings it was going to spin so it was just a question of putting that into practice and taking a little bit of pace off the ball. That’s what we spoke about and that’s what we did, and to get two points after being 137 all out, we are absolutely chuffed.

“You can’t fault the effort out there in the field tonight. The effort has been there 100 per cent all through the competition but tonight to fight and scrap to win a game we probably had no right to win, that’s pretty special.

“We knew that every run would be needed so we ran really hard and even though the luck didn’t go our way at times, we posted a score we felt we could defend. I was pleased with the way I bowled. Eighteen months ago I was probably classed as a part-time spinner but now I’m getting four overs a game and being backed by Davo and Mo has been brilliant.”

£15 tickets for home quarter-final

Bears have secured a home Vitality Blast quarter-final which will be on Thursday 6 July, with adult tickets only £15.

Tickets ware available online at or on the day via the Ticket Office. Members and Season Pass holders can attend for free by scanning their card at the gate.

Buy Tickets

Preview: Bears v Steelbacks, Vitality Blast

“I want us to be brave, keep attacking and not fear failure” – that’s the message from Bears First Team Coach Mark Robinson as he looks to rally his players and reverse a run of three Vitality Blast defeats.

The Bears set an imposing target of 203/7 against Derbyshire Falcons at Edgbaston on Wednesday night – thanks in large to another outstanding display from Sam Hain (79*) – but it wasn’t enough to hold off a spirited reply from the visitors.

It’s the fourth time in seven games the Bears have broken through the 200-run ceiling.

No other team in this year’s Blast can match that scoring rate – but Robinson feels his side were still too “timid” in the early stages of their innings against the Falcons.

“I felt we were a bit timid with the bat for the first 14 overs,” he said “and only really got going with Dan (Mousley) and Sam.

“I think it was a reaction to losing a couple of games or players not getting an individual score. We were a little bit safe, overly trying to do it right, but you have to be brave and aggressive when playing T20 and not be afraid of the consequences if you get out.

“When you fail as an individual it can create doubt, but you need to block out that noise. The players who are the bravest and the players who can accept failure and respond positively are the ones who succeed the most in T20 cricket.

“That doesn’t mean you swing wildly with no consequence at all but it means looking to be positive and keep moving the game forward. That’s what I felt we didn’t do enough of against Derbyshire.”

With Hain ably assisted by Mousley (26) and then Woakes (23 off 11) the Bears blitzed 63 runs in the last four overs on Wednesday.

However, an equally devastating final flourish from Leus du Plooy – who scored 32 off his last nine deliveries – sealed the win for the Falcons.

Robinson added: “We did brilliantly to get to 200, the last six overs were magnificent, then after a really good start from them we fought back well. Credit to Derby and du Plooy at the end, but from the position we were in, with four overs left, we want to be seeing that out for the points.

“Again it’s about being brave, to bowl your best ball. It’s hard because you’ve got exceptional players coming at you but we need to find better ways to execute under pressure and keep cool heads.

“We’re not far away, we’re losing close games, and scoring well. T20 turns in an instant, a bit of momentum and luck which isn’t with us right now but was in those first four games.”

Chris Woakes is unavailable for the visit of Northants Steelbacks on Friday (9 June, 6.30pm) and Robinson and his medical staff will make a late decision on the fitness of fellow seamer Hassan Ali.


Moeen Ali (c)
Ed Barnard
Chris Benjamin
Jacob Bethell
Danny Briggs
Henry Brookes
Alex Davies
Sam Hain
Olly Hannon-Dalby
Jake Lintott
Glenn Maxwell
Craig Miles
Dan Mousley
Rob Yates

How to follow

Members and supporters can watch the match live with our Bears Den TV live stream which will be available in our Match Centre at

The stream will be hosted by comedian and TMS commentator Aatif Nawaz, while commentary will once again be led by Adam Bridge, who will be joined by guests throughout the competition.

Supporters can get involved by sending their match day comments and thoughts on Twitter via @WarwickshireCCC and we’ll publish the best ones on our live text commentary in the Match Centre.

Supporters can also watch the Live Stream and get instant push notifications of all wickets, innings and match results via the Edgbaston app, which is free to download on iOS and Android.

Match updates will also be available across the Club’s social media accounts, simply search for @WarwickshireCCC.

£15 tickets for home quarter-final

Bears have secured a home Vitality Blast quarter-final which will be on Thursday 6 July, with adult tickets only £15.

Tickets ware available online at or on the day via the Ticket Office. Members and Season Pass holders can attend for free by scanning their card at the gate.

Buy Tickets
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