Vitality Blast
Sat 20 May, 18:30

Edgbaston

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Bears

Bears

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Bears

Yorkshire Vikings

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Report: Bears v Vikings, Vitality Blast

Sam Hain sparkled yet again as the Bears began their Vitality Blast campaign with a comfortable 34-run victory over Yorkshire Vikings at Edgbaston.

In the second half of the inaugural Blast Off double header, the Bears were lifted to an imposing 200 for six by a stand of 97 in 47 balls by Hain (83 not out, 46 balls) and Chris Benjamin (46, 28).

The Bears’ bowling attack then made light of the loss of Hassan Ali, who turned an ankle in the warm-ups.

Chris Woakes struck twice in his first 11 balls as the Vikings dipped to 34 for five. There was no way back from there and they ended on 166 all out, Dawid Malan top-scoring with 43 from 29 and Henry Brookes taking four for 32.

The hefty margin of victory continued the recent history of less-than-tight Blast encounters between these teams, their previous two meetings having delivered a ten-wicket win for each.

The Vikings’ decision to bowl first appeared sound after the home side ended the powerplay on a modest 41 for three. Paul Stirling, returning to Birmingham on a short-term deal until Glenn Maxwell’s IPL commitments are over, played on to Matt Revis whose excellent first two overs cost just eight runs.

When Dom Bess’s third ball bowled Dan Mousley through an attempted slog-sweep, the Bears were 51 for four – a wobbly platform which Hain and Benjamin first shored up then built upon spectacularly with some ferocious strokeplay.

Revis returned to end the partnership second ball back when Benjamin ladled to deep square leg, but Hain remained to smite seven fours and four sixes. His last two fours, pulled to the raucous Hollies Stand side off Ben Mike, came from the last two balls of the innings to take the total to 200.

Woakes then got busy as the Vikings lost wickets to the fifth ball of each of the first four overs. The World Cup winner had Adam Lyth caught behind and forced Shan Masood to play on.

Henry Brookes ended Jonny Bairstow’s input at seven from six balls, courtesy of a nick to the wicketkeeper, and bowled Will Fraine to leave the innings in disarray at 20 for four.

That became 34 for five when Revis connected sweetly with a cover drive off Dan Mousley but was brilliantly caught at extra by Danny Briggs. Another fine catch, from Brookes diving forward at deep square off Craig Miles, removed Mike and when Jordan Thompson sent up a skier later in the over, Malan was left with 133 to find from ten overs and only the lower order for company.

After Malan fell lbw slog-sweeping at Jake Lintott, the quest for 102 from the last six overs proved beyond the Vikings’ reach despite some carefree swishing in a lost cause from Dom Bess (42 not out, 28) and Jafer Chohan (37, 20).

Bears batter Sam Hain said: “As a batting unit we always risk being bowled out for 70 or 80 because we want to get 200 every time, but we knew that was a decent score on a good wicket. Benji and I enjoy batting together, we build off each other’s energy and it worked well for us tonight.

“With our batting line up we have a lot of people who want to do well and are capable of it and we will need that in a long campaign.

“Yorkshire bowled really well up front but sometimes as a batter in T20 you have more time than you think. If you stay in long enough, you will eventually get a ball you can hit so sometimes you have to play the long game and that’s what we did.

“Then with the ball, Woakesy and Brookesy were brilliant. It was a great effort from Brookesy after Hasan went down in the warm up – he came in and took an incredible catch and a got a four-for. Milo took wickets too and it was a great effort from the bowlers because it is tough when you are bowling to a short boundary on one side as the guys were tonight.”

Blast is back! Buy your tickets in advance & save

Vitality Blast T20 cricket is back! And fans can save £4 per ticket by purchasing in advance.

Next up is the big local derby against Worcestershire Rapids on Friday 23 June (6.30pm). Over 11,000 tickets have already been sold. Tickets Available from only £21, while groups of six or more can make further savings. Don’t miss it!

Buy Tickets

Preview: Bears v Vikings, Vitality Blast

Big crowd, blue skies and power hitting – Bears First Team Coach Mark Robinson believes all the ingredients are in place to make tomorrow’s Vitality Blast Off at Edgbaston a day to remember.

Robinson’s side have started the red ball campaign strongly with three wins from five putting them on the shoulders of early leaders Surrey in the County Championship Division One table.

They switched seamlessly to white ball action with T20 warm-up wins over Gloucestershire and two against Northamptonshire in Second XI games this week at Portland Road.

And though Robinson knows a sterner test lies in store when their Blast campaign launches against Yorkshire Vikings tomorrow (6.30pm start) he’s confident the Bears are well placed to make a strong start.

He said: “Those warm-up games gave everyone time out in the middle, it’s been good preparation and the players are getting used to playing at T20 tempo again.

“We’ll be hoping to build on the momentum from our red ball start which has been excellent.

“It’s a different squad but the confidence and belief remains. We’re second in the County Championship after some great performances, so there’s a real feel good factor and the whole place is buzzing for Blast to start.

“Blast Off is going to be special. A double-header, blue skies for the 13,000 or so fans in Edgbaston, it’s an exciting prospect. It’s why we play cricket, for big occasions like this, and it’s a chance for our players to flourish on the big stage. We can’t wait.”

The Bears have endured quarter final heartache in each of the last two Blast campaigns, losing to Kent in 2021 and Hampshire last year.

Both went on to win the competition and Robinson hopes his side can go one step better in 2023 and play in front of a fervent sell-out Finals Day.

He added: “We’ve not been far away in recent seasons but we want to keep improving every year. We’ve lost Adam Hose and Olly Stone but brought in Hassan Ali and Ed Barnard, plus we’ve got Moeen Ali and Glenn Maxwell to join up with the squad.

“They are both tearing up the IPL – some of Maxi’s shots have been outrageous – and Bears fans are in for some exciting cricket.

“But this is also a season for our younger players like Dan Mousley, Rob Yates and Jacob Bethell, to really seize their opportunity.

“I’ve got a good idea of our starting 11 but as we progress through the competition that will change if we pick up any knocks and with international call-ups.

“We’ve got Woaksey for the short term before he goes off with England but of course that then creates an opportunity for another player.”

Blast Off starts with Derbyshire Falcons vs Lancashire Lightning (2.30pm) before the Bears and Vikings lock horns from 6.30pm.

Fans can enjoy a full day of T20 entertainment, with live music, children’s entertainment and more throughout the day.

Squad

Alex Davies (c)
Hassan Ali
Ed Barnard
Chris Benjamin
Jacob Bethell
Danny Briggs
Henry Brookes
Sam Hain
Jake Lintott
Craig Miles
Dan Mousley
Paul Stirling
Chris Woakes
Rob Yates

How to follow

Members and supporters can follow the match live in our Match Centre at edgbaston.com.

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.

Blast is back! Buy your tickets in advance & save

Vitality Blast T20 cricket is back! And fans can save £4 per ticket by purchasing in advance.

Next up is the big local derby against Worcestershire Rapids on Friday 23 June (6.30pm). Over 11,000 tickets have already been sold. Tickets Available from only £21, while groups of six or more can make further savings. Don’t miss it!

Buy Tickets
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