Blast Report: Bears v Durham
Durham returned to winning ways in the Vitality Blast with a 34-run victory over Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.
Both sides went into action on the back of successive defeats and it was the visitors who ended their lean streak after they defended a total of 164 for eight (Cameron Bancroft 60, 45 balls, Ben Stokes 35, 20 balls).
Carlos Brathwaite led the Bears’ bowling with three for 32, Tim Bresnan adding two for 25 and Will Rhodes two for 11.
Durham then regularly took wickets at important times to bowl the Bears out for 130 in 18.3 overs. Rhodes’s perky 45 (27 balls) was ended by a run out and Matt Lamb’s worthy 39 (33 balls, three fours, two sixes) was without support as Stokes, assisted by brilliant catching, added four for 27 to his cameo with the bat.
Put in, Durham started slowly, losing openers Graham Clark and David Bedingham, caught in the deep off Craig Miles and Bresnan respectively, on the way to 25 for two from five overs.
Stokes launched the counter attack with two sixes off Carlos Brathwaite. The England star looked dangerous but perished in pursuit of another maximum off his old West Indian foe, superbly caught by Sam Hain running around the mid-wicket boundary.
While Bancroft improvised impressively on the way to a 38-ball half-century, others flailed briefly around him. Scott Borthwick bashed a quickfire 18 before Bancroft sought his third six, over cover off Rhodes, and was held by Adam Hose on the rope. Late impetus arrived when Ned Eckersley and Liam Trevaskis took 20 from the final over.
Travaskis then opened the bowling and soon trapped Hose lbw, sweeping. Brydon Carss removed Ed Pollock, caught at mid off, to leave the Bears 18 for two and then Stokes took the big wicket of Hain, caught behind, in his first over.
Rhodes moved sweetly to 45 but departed after a mix-up with Lamb which saw him easily run out by Bedingham’s throw.
The Bears needed 86 from the last ten overs but the next two, tightly delivered by and Trevaskis and Matty Potts, yielded just eight runs. As the pressure increased, Michael Burgess hoisted Stokes to fine leg.
Lamb launched a blow or two anger but Borthwick bowled Brathwaite through an attempted sweep, and after Lamb fell to a stunning one-handed catch by Raine on the long leg boundary, the equation quickly spiralled beyond the Bears’ reach.