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NatWest T20 Blast 2017
Sun 30 July, 14:30

Edgbaston, Birmingham

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Bears

Bears

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Bears

Lancashire Lightning

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Report: Birmingham Bears v Lancashire Lightning, NatWest T20 Blast 2017

A sensational debut innings from Adam Hose lifted Birmingham Bears to a five-wicket NatWest T20 Blast victory over Lancashire Lightning at Edgbaston.

The Lightning amassed 174 for eight thanks mainly to Jos Buttler whose unbeaten 80 (43 balls, six fours, two sixes) was the only contribution beyond 20. Measured at first, as wickets fell around him, Buttler paced his innings perfectly, climbing into the bowling late on.

But then Hose, making his debut after moving from Somerset on a three-year deal last week, smashed a dazzling, T20-best 76 from 43 balls with seven fours and five sixes to put his side on course for victory. And after he perished, Grant Elliott saw his side over the line with just two balls to spare with an shrewd unbeaten 45 (33 balls, five fours).

Put in, the Lightning soon lost Liam Livingstone (12, 14 balls) whose middle-stump was knocked out by Keith Barker. Arron Lilley and Karl Brown each connected with a couple of big blows but reached only 18 and 16 respectively before falling to excellent outfield catches from Elliott and Aaron Thomason.

Dane Vilas became the fourth batsman to reach ten but not 20 when he and Buttler disagreed over a single and Colin De Grandhomme exacted full punishment with a direct hit. Steven Croft became the fifth when he was caught by wicketkeeper Alex Mellor down the leg-side off De Grandhomme.

When De Grandhomme bowled Ryan McLaren, it was 121 for six and the Lightning needed some late impetus. Buttler and Tom Bailey supplied it, both clearing the ropes off Barker in the 19th over before Buttler took 19 from the last over, from Rankin.

In reply, Birmingham lost both openers in the first 14 balls as Ed Pollock skied Bailey to backward point and Ian Bell nicked McLaren behind. Hose and Sam Hain rallied with a stand of 51 in 34 balls before the latter (22, 17 balls) fell lbw to Matt Parkinson’s sixth ball.

Hose and Elliott had 50 on the board in the next 15 minutes though and the debutant celebrated with successive sixes off Steven Parry. The pair added 69 in 44 balls before Hose charged and missed at Parkinson and Buttler completed an easy stumping.

Led by the skilful Parkinson, Lancashire fought hard to the end, but it came down to five from the last over and Elliott thumped McLaren over mid-off for four to seal the win to a huge roar from the big home crowd.

Selco Builders Warehouse Man of The Match: Adam Hose

Preview: Birmingham Bears v Lancashire Lightning, NatWest T20 Blast 2017

Birmingham Bears face Lancashire Lightning at Edgbaston tomorrow (2.30pm) at the start of what captain Ian Bell describes as a “huge” week for their NatWestT20Blast campaign.

There was frustration at Edgbaston last night as the Bears’ tussle with North Group leaders Yorkshire Vikings was washed out without a ball bowled with the teams taking a point apiece.

It was great to see so many different players contribute to, especially the younger guys with Ed Pollock batting superbly against Derbyshire and Aaron Thomason among the wickets in Leicester.

Ian Bell

Rain around the country has left a North Group table which was already tight looking even tighter.

It’s all to play for as the in-form Bears now enter a crucial six-day period in which they face three vital games: against the Lightning tomorrow, away to Northants Steelbacks on Tuesday then against old rivals Worcestershire Rapids in the big derby back at Edgbaston next Friday.

“It was frustrating to be rained off last night because Yorkshire are a strong side and we are in good form so it would have been a cracking game,” said Bell. “But we take a point and move on to what is a very important week, starting against the Lightning tomorrow then against the Steelbacks and the Rapids.

“They are strong sides, as they all are in the North Group which is why it’s so tight. But we’re going into this busy period in confident mood after playing some really good cricket in the last two games.

“It was great to see so many different players contribute to our wins against Derbyshire and Leicestershire, especially the younger guys with Ed Pollock batting superbly against Derbyshire and Aaron Thomason among the wickets in Leicester. Now we need to keep that going.

“In a long group phase like this, it’s all about peaking at the right time, as we found out to our cost last year, and there have been some really encouraging signs in the last couple of games. Now we have just got to keep that going against Lancashire tomorrow.”

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