Vitality Blast 2019
Fri 9 August, 19:00

Edgbaston, Birmingham

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Nottinghamshire Outlaws

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Blast Report: Bears v Outlaws

Outlaws won a rain-affected match at Edgbaston by eight wickets on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Outlaws restricted Birmingham to just 119 for nine in an innings that produced four fours and no sixes.

And opener Joe Clarke led the way in reply with an unbeaten 47 as the Outlaws reached 86 for two after only 11 overs before rain forced the game to be abandoned.

The Bears had no answer to the Outlaws attack with pace bowler Luke Wood the pick with figures of three for 24 – including a wicket from the final ball of his first over of the night.

That was Wood’s second first over scalp in successive games and set the tone for what was to come.
Spinners Matt Carter and Imad Wasim claimed two victims apiece in key spell .

Dom Sibley provided some signs of recovery for Bears with a 23-ball innings of 25 – including four boundaries – before he fell to Wasim when Carter caught him at short third man to reduce Bears to 35-2.

And the introduction of Carter and Pakistani all-rounder Wasim had Birmingham tied in knots.

But Sam Hain flew the flag for Bears before cruelly falling one short of his half century.

Hain departed when Birmingham captain Jeetan Patel drove off the bowling of Harry Gurney and managed to deflect the ball on to the stumps. That saw Hain dismissed for 49 from 47 balls.

Wood finished as he had started and took the ninth wicket – Oliver Hannon-Dalby – for one.

In reply, Outlaws cut loose in the third over with Clarke hitting 24 runs including two sixes and three fours – and failing to score from the other delivery.

Nottinghamshire raced to 48 without loss after four overs.

But, with more rain falling, Outlaws lost their first wicket when Hannon-Dalby had Alex Hales caught behind for 11 in his first bowling spell.

Outlaws made quick progress towards their target despite losing a second wicket with the score on 80 when Ben Duckett was bowled by Patel for 16.

But the rain became too much and the players were forced off before an Outlaws victory was confirmed.

Blast 19 Preview: Birmingham Bears v Notts Outlaws

The Bears return to Edgbaston on Friday looking to make amends following a difficult road trip. 

Three defeats and a tie from the previous four games has seen the Bears looking from outside in terms of top four place.

But despite their frustration away from Edgbaston, their success has come there.

Jim Troughton’s side has won its only two games on home soil and with the Outlaws (Friday) and Lightning (Sunday) visiting on Sunday, there’s an opportunity to reclaim a qualification spot.

“We’ve got a lot of games at Edgbaston to come and we’ve got to try and use it as a fortress,” said Will Rhodes.

“We’re two from two and that’s the way we’ve got to go. We love playing here, we’ve got a good method and hopefully that continues against Notts.”

Wednesday’s fixture against the Foxes showed the side’s potential. 

Henry Brookes bowled excellently with figures of 3/26 whilst Sam Hain and Adam Hose again showed the ability to put together a strong performance. 

Rhodes admits it wasn’t the perfect performance by any stretch, but believes the squad must see the positives and look forward.

“In T20 every team wins and loses,” added the all-rounder.

“In this competition we’ve done some good things and that’s not to be taken lightly. 

“We can build on the good stuff we’ve done, and yes we’ve been beaten, but we’ve got to keep looking forward and every game is winnable from now on. 

“All the matches are huge and the way the group’s going at the minute everyone is beating everyone. 

“It would be great if we can take points off Notts and get closer to them and move further up the league. 

“Obviously they are massive games for us and hopefully we can get over the line.”

Another achilles heel for the Bears has been freak injuries.

Just this week, Ashton Agar suffered a fractured foot whilst Olly Stone will miss two weeks with a back injury.

That has meant more responsibility for younger, inexperienced players, something which Rhodes believes will help long term.

“I think it’s been difficult all year, but the beauty of it is everyone’s cracked on,” Rhodes concluded.

“People have played out of position occasionally and again that’s the beauty of T20 cricket. 

“You can almost field whatever sort of team you want, but the responsibility therefore is on the key players to perform and I think we can do that.

“We spoke after the Leicestershire game and we’ve got to realise we’re a young side and inexperienced to a degree, but I think that’s a great learning process.

“To get beat you always learn more and we’ll be taking that into the weekend.”

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