Report: Bears v Worcestershire Rapids, Vitality Blast
A blistering century from Adam Hose lifted Birmingham Bears to a crushing 144-run win over Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston.
A crowd of 16,780, the highest in the North Group this season, saw the Bears pile up 228 for eight thanks to a buccaneering stand of 91 from 53 balls between Hose (110 not out, 53 balls) and Dan Mousley (53, 34). Hose hit 13 fours and four sixes on the way to becoming the first Bears player to score two Blast tons.
The Rapids’ horrible T20 campaign then went from bad to worse as they floundered to 84 all out, Danny Briggs taking four for 26, Jake Lintott two for 12 and Olly Stone two for 17.
The thumping of their arch-rivals, their heaviest ever Blast victory, takes the Bears to the brink of qualification for the quarter-finals. For the Rapids, this miserable campaign cannot end too soon.
The Rapids chose to bowl and had the Bears three for two after two legitimate balls as Mitchell Stanley bowled Alex Davies and had Sam Hain caught at slip first ball.
Rob Yates (20, eight balls) greeted Moeen Ali into the attack with successive fours before fatally edging the next but, as Hose and Mousley got going, a powerplay which was frenetic even by Blast standards ended with the Bears 79 for three.
Both batsmen galloped to 30-ball half-centuries before Mousley, having sparkled in his first Blast knock of 2022, reverse-lapped Adam Finch to point. That was the first of three wickets in nine balls for Finch as Chris Benjamin hoisted to long off and Carlos Brathwaite was castled first ball.
Hose cavorted on though and reached his ton from 51 balls in the penultimate over, celebrating with a four and a six from the two further balls he faced.
The Rapids’ reply suffered immediate damage when they lost Polly and Dolly in the first seven deliveries, Ed Pollock lifting Olly Stone to mid on and Brett D’Oliveira steering Craig Miles to slip. The visitors’ main hope then swiftly disappeared when Ali hoiked Mousley’s first ball to deep mid-wicket.
Whereas the Bears piled up 79 in the powerplay, the Rapids mustered just 31 and there was no way back from there. Colin Munro (34, 28 balls) landed a blow or two but after he edged Briggs and Dwayne Bravo lifted the next ball to long off it was 49 for five and the big, noisy Bears crowd could start celebrating a win that takes their side to the threshold of the quarter-finals.