Vitality Blast
Thu 24 June, 18:30

Edgbaston, Birmingham

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Derbyshire Falcons

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Blast Report: Bears v Falcons

A change of captaincy worked wonders for Derbyshire Falcons as they beat Birmingham Bears by five wickets in the Vitality Blast Edgbaston. 

In their first match since Matt Critchley replaced Billy Godleman as skipper, the Falcons excelled in the field to restricted the Bears to 167 for nine on a good batting pitch with a short boundary on one side. 

Ed Pollock blazed 46 (21 balls) and Michael Burgess made 41 (34) but the Falcons bowled with aggression and purpose, led by George Scrimshaw (three for 23), Fynn Hudson-Prentice (two for 19) and Conor McKerr (two for 28). 

Their reply then ignited immediately with 19 from the first over and they never looked back, reaching 170 for five with five balls to spare. Leus du Plooy hit 57 (34 balls) and Tom Wood an unbeaten 63 (48) to secure a victory that preserves their slender hopes of qualification from the North Group. 

For the depleted Bears, with Dan Mousley (broken finger) the latest addition to the absentee list, the result meant back-to-back defeats from which they will seek to bounce back at home to Durham on Saturday. 

Critchley’s first act as Falcons skipper was to win the toss and choose to field and he must have thought captaincy was a piece of cake as the Bears lurched to 23 for three after 19 balls. McKerr removed Adam Hose and Will Rhodes in his first over before Sam Hain bagged only his second duck in 69 Blast innings for the Bears when he inside-edged Hudson Prentice behind. 

Pollock struck five fours and four sixes but then lifted Logan van Beek to mid on before Matt Lamb’s fluent 22 (17 balls) was terminated by a stunning catch by Luis Reece at extra cover off Scrimshaw. 

Burgess’s brisk 41 ended with a skier off Hudson-Prentice and only some late blows from  Tim Bresnan (34, 24 balls) lifted the total above 150. 

The Falcons’ reply was given a spectacular start by Reeece who struck three fours and a six from the first over, from Liam Norwell. Reece and Harry Came both fell in the second over, by Bresnan, but du Plooy and Wood exploited the favourable batting conditions skilfully to add 90 in 60 balls. 

Du Plooy lifted Brathwaite to extra cover but Wood advanced to a 44-ball half-century on his first T20 appearance of the season,  and saw his side home. 

Blast Preview: Bears v Falcons

Birmingham Bears return to action at home to Derbyshire Falcons on Thursday with captain Will Rhodes urging them to build on their “superb” start to the group campaign.

The washout of the scheduled first home game, against Lancashire Lightning last Friday, means the Bears will finally tread home soil with six away games already played. To have won four of those games gives them a great foundation on which to build at Edgbaston.

First to Birmingham come the Falcons on Thursday and then Durham on Saturday and all tickets for both games have been sold, adding to the sense of anticipation for Rhodes and his team.

“It’s great news that the game are sell-outs. We are all really looking forward to getting out there with the crowd behind us and trying to cement the strong start we have made to the group.

Will Rhodes

“The guys have done superbly to get four away wins on the board. What has been most pleasing is that we have won in different fashions – batting first and chasing – and on different surfaces and that different players have made match-winning contributions.

“That augurs well now that we can get back to Edgbaston for a few games. Other teams have played a few at home and a few away but have had much more chance than us to use the home conditions they are familiar with. Now we have the chance to do that.”

The Bears will be looking to complete a double over the Falcons who they defeated by three wickets, thanks principally to a Dan Mousley half-century, at Derby on June 13.

“Derbyshire are low in the group table at the moment, but we know they have some good players and are dangerous,” said Rhodes. “We will have to be at our best.

“We had a good win at their place where we pulled off a chase in a tight game. We weren’t at our absolute best that day so it was pleasing to still come out with a win because, early on the group, all that really matters is putting some points on the board.”

With Dan Mousley ruled out by a broken finger sustained in practice this morning, Matt Lamb comes into the T20 squad. The Bears are still also without Jake Lintott (Covid), Olly Stone (back), Henry Brookes (thigh) and Rob Yates (illness) as well as Chris Woakes who is away with England’s IT20 squad.


Will Rhodes (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Jacob Bethell, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Michael Burgess, Sam Hain, Adam Hose, Matt Lamb, Pieter Malan, Craig Miles, Liam Norwell, Ed Pollock

How to follow

With Thursday’s match with Derbyshire Falcons officially sold out, Bears Members and supporters can follow the Club from home via the Match Centre on and through the Edgbaston app (available for free on iOS and Android).

Bears Den TV returns for all home Vitality Blast home games hosted by Beccy Wood and starting on our YouTube page from 6pm. The live stream of the game gets underway at 6.30pm.

Blast Insight: Derbyshire Falcons

Derbyshire Falcons will arrive at Edgbaston tomorrow seeking revenge for the three-wicket defeat meted out to them by the Bears at Derby two weeks ago – and badly needing a win to reboot their qualification bid in Group A.

Whereas the Bears are riding high in the group, placed third with nine points, the Falcons are under pressure, having taken just four points from eight games.

They lost to the Bears two weeks ago, when Dan Mousley played the game’s defining innings with a composed half-century. Since then the Falcons, under the guidance of former England all-rounder Dominic Cork, have beaten Northamptonshire Steelbacks but lost to Lancashire Lightning, Notts Outlaws, Yorkshire Vikings and, last night, Leicestershire Foxes.

Their 42-run home defeat to the Foxes last night was largely due to a spectacular batting collapse. After spinner Matt Critchley, always at the heart of their bowling plans, delivered 4-0-23-2, to help restrict the Foxes to 174, the Falcons advanced solidly enough to 83 for two but then lost eight wickets for 49 runs in 40 balls.

Tomorrow’s match will be the 12th meeting of the Bears and Falcons in the Blast and the Bears are ascendant so far in the series, having won seven to the Falcons’ four.

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