Vitality Blast
Fri 31 May, 18:30

Seat Unique Riverside, Durham

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Report: Durham v Bears, Vitality Blast

A brilliant bowling performance from Birmingham Bears gave them a win in their Vitality Blast opener as they beat Durham by six wickets at the Seat Unique Riverside.

Hassan Ali and Richard Gleeson led the attack with exceptional performances as the experienced seamers picked up five wickets between them and helped restrict the hosts to 101 all out.

The visitors led by Rob Yates and Sam Hain chased down the target with minimum fuss and won with plenty of time to spare.

It was a case of different day, same problems for Durham with this game coming hot on the heels of another poor batting performance at Lancashire on Thursday.

The North East side have scored just 176 runs in their two matches so far and will look to improve that when they face Leicestershire Foxes on Friday, while there’s a quick turnaround for the Bears as they host Derbyshire Falcons on Saturday.

Having been put into bat by the Bears, Durham got off to a flier with Alex Lees and Graham Clark scoring 25 from the first two overs. Clark’s positive start didn’t continue for much longer with Dan Mousley removing the opener for 14. 

Lees then followed his opening partner into the pavilion with the Durham skipper being stumped for 14 after coming down the pitch to Danny Briggs. Colin Ackermann then miscued the ball straight to backward point for one after being deceived by a slower ball from Pakistan international Ali.

Ollie Robinson then skied one from Ali straight to the man at the square leg boundary to depart for six. The wickets kept on coming as Ben Raine clipped a George Garton ball into the air and it was met by a diving Yates who took a sublime catch. Ashton Turner and Michael Jones did offer some brief resistance but the Australian was then bowled by the impressive Briggs for 17. 

Jake Lintott then got in on the act and bowled Durham’s Australian overseas signing Ben Dwarshuis for two.

At the other end Scottish international Jones stuck to the task alongside Matthew Potts, with the batsman hitting Ali for the first six of the night with a heave to the square-leg boundary.

Jones’ defiance ended on 29 as he smashed a Gleeson ball straight to the safe hands of Lintott, then the next ball saw the end of Nathan Sowter for a golden duck. 

The impeccable Ali then bowled Potts for seven, giving him figures of three for 20 and Durham were all out for 101.

The Bears’ reply almost got off to a bad start as Yates edged a Dwarshuis delivery but it escaped the diving Turner at slip.

Alex Davies then turned on the style as he ramped a Dwarshuis ball for six, the first of the Bears innings. Yates chipped away at the target as he hit Callum Parkinson for three fours but the left arm spinner got his revenge and bowled the opener for 29. 

Davies was then run out for 13 as Raine hit the stumps while the Bears skipper was backing up and he was short of his ground. Raine was in the thick of the action once again as he got Mousley LBW for eight to give the Bears a slight scare. 

Jacob Bethell was removed by Potts for 18, but Hain, who finished unbeaten on 27, anchored the chase and saw his side home comfortably.

Bears bowler Danny Briggs said: “Taking wickets is always key. I think the deeper we went into the innings we knew it was a tricky wicket to bat on and we kept on taking wickets throughout which was good for us.

“We’ve got a great squad actually and it’s good to get some wickets. We’ve got a lot of options with the bat and the ball, hopefully its a sign of things to come for us.

“With Glees (Richard Gleeson) and Garts (George Garton) coming in its bolstered our bowling line up and really helps us.”

Four Teams. Two Matches. Blast Off is back!

Vitality Blast Off is back and the Bears will launch their home T20 campaign with a huge men’s double-header featuring two big Midlands rivalry games.

Taking place on Saturday 1 June, Derbyshire Falcons host Leicestershire Foxes (2.30pm) before the Bears take on Notts Outlaws (6.30pm). Buy tickets in advance and save.

Buy Tickets

Preview: Durham v Bears, Vitality Blast

Mark Robinson believes his side will continue to be ‘aggressive’ as they look to chase a place at Finals Day.

The Bears have topped the North Group in successive years, and reached a quarter-final in the past three, on the back of some scintillating cricket, which saw them surpass 200 seven times with the bat last year. 

“We’re the Bears. We’re a big club with big expectations,” said Robinson. “As a group, and First Team Coach, we love competing and winning, but we’re also realistic that sometimes you don’t. That’s the game. 

“It’s a great time for domestic players and everyone looks forward to it. It gets earlier and earlier, but once it’s on the TV it takes off, and we’re really excited.

“We had a meeting today as a group, with some on zoom, but every club in the country will be doing similar things after recruiting a team that they think will go all the way to Finals Day. We’re no different. You need a little bit of luck, you need to keep the right players fit, but we’re ambitions and we want to win. Whether that’s expectation, pressure, or excitement, you can choose your words.

“We’ll look to do replicate last year’s success with the bat, but sometimes it doesn’t look pretty. I think everyone will have seen under Alex Davies, as our four-day captain, and Will Rhodes previously, that we want to play aggressive cricket. 

“To win tournaments and trophies you have change mindsets and I feel we’ve done that over the past three or four years. We’re getting closer, but until we get to Finals Day it’s cheap words and the actions are the most important thing.”

Bears are taking a 13-player squad north this afternoon to face Durham on Friday, before heading home to Edgbaston for Saturday’s Blast Off.

Plenty of miles will be clocked in the legs – and on the coach – but it’s an exciting time for those involved, especially the playing squad which has seen George Garton and Richard Gleeson added to the pace bowling department.

“We’ve got a mixture with the experience of Glees and Garts – although he is still relatively young – and then we’ve got a young batting line-up with Jacob Bethell, Dan Mousley and Rob Yates, who had a breakthrough year last year and hopefully he can build on it.

“We’ve tried to give our batters the confidence that we believe in them as we haven’t gone for an overseas batter. We’ve given them the space to grow and to improve and carry forward the good work they did last year. 

“This year we’ve added to the bowling, specifically our death bowling, so we’ve added Glees, Garts, plus Hassan Ali too which is great.  

“Aamir Jamal could potentially come into the equation on Saturday depending where we are, but he’ll have another bowl tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll come back to full fitness then.

“But ultimately you’ve got to look at the game at hand. We’re mindful we’ve got players who can cover potential injuries and we feel we’ve got that in the batting, seam department, plus plenty of spin options. 

“If a spinner was to go down, or if we were to change the balance of the team, it wouldn’t affect us as we’re carrying a lot of spin options with Yatesy, Bethell, plus the obvious options in Briggs, Lintott and Mousley. That’s exciting for us.”


Alex Davies (C & WK)
Hassan Ali
Ed Barnard
Chris Benjamin
Jacob Bethell
Danny Briggs
George Garton
Richard Gleeson
Sam Hain
Jake Lintott
Craig Miles
Dan Mousley
Rob Yates


This will be the 17th match between the two teams in this competition. Bears have won 12 and Durham 4.  The last five results were: W, W, W, W, L.

During last year’s clash at Emirates Riverside, Hassan Ali took 2/15 from his four overs as the hosts set 147 to win. In a tense finish, Jacob Bethell struck 27, before Danny Briggs hit a maximum in the final over nine down.


Danny Briggs requires 3 wickets to reach 50 wickets for the Bears.

How to follow

Members and supporters can follow the match live in our Match Centre at

Supporters can get involved by sending their match day comments and thoughts on Twitter via @WarwickshireCCC and we’ll publish the best ones on our live text commentary in the Match Centre.

Supporters can also watch the Live Stream and get instant push notifications of all wickets, innings and match results via the Edgbaston app, which is free to download on iOS and Android.

Match updates will also be available across the Club’s social media accounts, simply search for @WarwickshireCCC.

Four Teams. Two Matches. Blast Off is back!

Vitality Blast Off is back and the Bears will launch their home T20 campaign with a huge men’s double-header featuring two big Midlands rivalry games.

Taking place on Saturday 1 June, Derbyshire Falcons host Leicestershire Foxes (2.30pm) before the Bears take on Notts Outlaws (6.30pm). Buy tickets in advance and save.

Buy Tickets
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