Vitality Blast 2020
Fri 18 September, 18:30

Edgbaston, Birmingham

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Worcestershire Rapids

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Vitality Blast Report: Bears v Worcestershire Rapids

The Bears took a big step towards the Vitality Blast quarter-finals with a 16-run victory over arch-rivals Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston. 

On a chilly, autumnal night in Birmingham, the Bears totalled 179 for six. After Rob Yates’ enterprising 37 at the top of the order, a solid total was assured by Sam Hain (61, 33 balls) and Dan Mousley (40, 31). Rapids captain Ed Barnard led his team’s bowling with an intelligent spell of 4-0-20-2. 

Hamish Rutherford’s violent 45 (23 balls) gave the Rapids’ reply a lightning start and Brett D’Oliveira played beautifully for 61 (40 balls) but then fell to Henry Brookes with his team still needing 26 from 13 balls. That equation proved beyond the tail as the Rapids fell short on 163 for eight. 

The Bears chose to bat first, having omitted Dom Sibley after the England opener scored just four runs in three T20 innings. The aggressive Adam Hose was promoted to open but it was Yates who provided early impetus with 37 from 20 balls with five fours and two sixes.

The Rapids hit back hard, though, as the Bears, from 64 for one in the eighth over, last three wickets for six runs in 11 balls. The impressive Barnard forced miscues into the infield from Hose and Michael Burgess and D’Oliveira had Will Rhodes caught at mid-wicket. 

Hain and Mousley, playing only his second T20, rebuilt with a stand of 80 in 53 balls which ended when the latter was caught off Morris.  Hain continue his exceptional T20 form, reaching his half-century from 30 balls before edging Pat Brown behind in the final over. 

The Rapids’ reply was spectacularly launched by Rutherford whose 45 came from just 23 balls, five of which he smote for six. His first-over assault on Tim Bresnan forced the Bears to change their plans and bring linchpin Jeetan Patel on early.  

Patel bowled Jack Haynes in his first over and Jake Libby sliced Olly Stone to point but Rutherford threatened to win the game single-handed before he fell to Jake Lintott’s first ball, superbly caught in the deep by sub fielder Sibley. 

Lintott ran out Ben Cox with a direct hit but D’Oliveira advanced to a 31-ball half-century and batted with enormous aplomb until he edged Henry Brookes behind. The game was still very much in the balance but the 19th over, from Stone, cost just four runs and brought the removal of Daryl Mitchell’s off-stump to leave the Rapids’ lower order needing 18 from the final over – a challenge well beyond them. 

The final group game for the Bears is against Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Edgbaston tomorrow (Sunday 20 September), with play starting at 1pm. Victory will guarantee a spot in the last eight. 

Download the new Edgbaston app

The new Edgbaston app makes it even easier for fans to follow the Bears through a new match live stream, with quizzes, polls and other interactive features that are designed to enhance the supporter experience.

The app is available to download for free on iOS and Android.


Vitality Blast Preview: Bears v Worcestershire Rapids

Birmingham Bears’ quest for qualification for the Vitality Blast quarter-finals is firmly in their own hands as they prepare to face old rivals Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston on Friday night (6.30pm).

Victory over the Rapids, and another over Northants Steelbacks in the final group game on Sunday, would take the Bears into the last eight.

One win could be enough to take Will Rhodes’ side through but that would require other results to go their way.

So the mission is to keep their destiny entirely under their own control by completing a double over a Rapids team which they defeated by six wickets at Blackfinch New Road to secure the Norman Gifford Trophy last Sunday.

That win was engineered by a brilliant unbeaten 73 from Sam Hain and the Bears will be hoping for more of the same from Hain, both in terms of his recent Blast form and also his great record against the Rapids.

In the shorter-formats at New Road, his scores have been 46, 34, 47, 70, 161 not out and 73 not out and against the Rapids, home and away, in T20 he averages 46.00.

“Sam is a very good player in all formats but his white ball stats are up there with the best,” said Bears batting coach Tony Frost. “All credit to him, he has got a lot of ability and this year he has worked really hard on upping the tempo of his T20 batting. We have all seen how that work has paid off.

“Hopefully he can keep up his strong record against Worcestershire but it’s got to be a team effort. Individual performances stand out in each game but, over the course of a group stage, you need them from everyone.

Tony Frost

“Last Tuesday’s game at Bristol was disappointing, we were beaten by a better team, but in the three before that we played some really good T20 cricket. A lot of people contributed and we showed we know how to win games of T20.

“Qualification is in our hands. We will go through if we win these last two games and we know we have the players and the knowhow to do that.”

Watch Live

Members and supporters can watch the West Midlands Vitality Blast derby live on or on-the-go via the Edgbaston app with our brand new Bears Den TV show, hosted by Beccy Wood and Adam Bridge.

Coverage starts at 6pm, with play due to start at 6.30pm. We’ll bring you build-up, live match coverage and chances to get involved and win prizes during the game.

The live stream will be available for free via the website, or download the Edgbaston app which is available on iOS and Android.

If you don’t already have a My Edgbaston account, you can create a free account. My Edgbaston logins correspond with your online ticketing and Membership account and will also provide access to a number of exclusive offers and content.

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