Vitality Blast 2020
Tue 15 September, 14:00

The Bristol County Ground, Bristol

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Vitality Blast Report: Gloucestershire v Bears

Ian Cockbain proved the scourge of Birmingham Bears again as Gloucestershire moved to the brink of qualification for the Vitality Blast quarter-finals with a 50-run Central Group win at the Bristol County Ground. 

Having smashed an unbeaten 84 in the corresponding game at Edgbaston, the 33-year-old Merseysider hit 44 off just 21 balls to boost his side’s total to 173 for six after winning the toss. 

Chris Dent (39) and Miles Hammond (49) had led the way with an opening stand of 88, but it was Cockbain’s blistering knock that ensured an above par score. Olly Stone was the pick of the Birmingham attack with two for 31. 

In reply, the Bears could manage only 123 all out, Matt Taylor returning three for 29 and Graeme van Buuren three for 33. Only Sam Hain offered much resistance with 43 not out. 

It was the home side’s sixth successive group win and they now look assured of a place in the last eight, while the Bears have some work to do. 

Dent wasted no time signalling Gloucestershire’s intentions, with 2 fours off the opening over, bowled by Tim Bresnan. 

Hammond was quickly into his stride too, a couple of reverse sweeps to the boundary off Jeetan Patel taking his side’s score to 21 off two overs. 

The two left-handers continued to score freely and by the end of the six-over power-play Gloucestershire’s total was a healthy 49 without loss. 

That became 86 for none after 11 overs. But Dent was then caught and bowled off a skyer by Patel, having hit 5 fours in his 34-ball innings. 

Hammond went in the following over, well caught on the run at deep mid-wicket by Dominic Sibley off Stone. He had faced 41 balls and notched seven boundaries. 

The Bears began to put a brake on the scoring rate and the 16th over was reached without a six in the Gloucestershire innings. 

Cockbain put that right with two in succession off Patel and was looking in prime form when caught on the deep cover boundary off Henry Brookes, having hit 4 sixes and 3 fours. 

From 144 for two, Gloucestershire lost four wickets for 28 runs, but their score still looked more than competitive. Ryan Higgins was unbeaten on 21 at the end. 

The Bears made a poor start to their chase, losing Dom Sibley lbw in the first over, sent down by van Buuren. Soon it was 24 for two as RobYates cut a catch to point off David Payne. 

Adam Hose hit the first six of the innings off Matt Taylor in the fifth over, but perished tamely two balls later, pulling a catch straight to Higgins at mid-wicket. 

The next over saw Rhodes bowled trying to drive van Buuren and the Bears were in disarray at 37 for four. 

Gloucestershire lost skipper Jack Taylor to a hand injury when he tried to catch a fierce drive from Sam Hain in the eighth over, Cockbain taking over the captaincy. 

Michael Burgess holed out to long-off as Tom Smith began to weave his customary spell at the Ashley Down Road End. His first three overs cost just 11 runs. 

Smith bowling in tandem with fellow left-arm spinner van Burren has been one of Gloucestershire’s strengths in the competition and when the latter bowled Tim Bresnan to make it 83 for six the outcome was beyond doubt. 

Hain did his best, with little support, but it was another impressive success for a Gloucestershire side, who will be no one’s pushovers as the tournament moves to its climax. 

Vitality Blast Preview: Gloucestershire v Bears

Three wins in a row and the Bears are ‘brimming’.

Sunday’s six-wicket victory at Blackfinch New Road against local rivals Worcestershire Rapids was the latest triumph that’s seen the Bears catapult up the table.

Following the disappointment at home to Gloucestershire, Jim Troughton’s side has defeated Somerset by 4 runs (DLS) at Taunton, Glamorgan at Edgbaston by 13 runs and seen the return of the Norman Gifford Trophy to Birmingham.

Those results place the Bears in joint second and just one win off top spot in the Central Group.

With the top two qualifying from three groups and the two best third-placed added, the Bears are well-positioned with just three games remaining.

“Will Rhodes just said in our meeting that we’re just brimming which is a good place to be in this competition,” said First Team Coach Jim Troughton following the Derby Day win.

“We’ve got three games left now and it’s in our hands.

“If we take that confidence and momentum into those and know when we’ve walked off the park we’ve given everything we can then there’s no issue from me.

“You can get on a bit of a role now and the belief that comes from the tight moments is that when you do win games you get the momentum.

“When you get those little periods of overs that can go either way you’re confident you can get through those and dominate those.

“Hopefully, the guys are growing in confidence with the bat, ball and in the field, which put us in a good place with the remaining games.

Jim Troughton

“There are six points up for grabs and hopefully we can grab all six.”

The first fixture this week is Bristol where the Bears face table-toppers Gloucestershire.

The County Ground side has won five in a row, including the away win at Edgbaston, so there should be no surprises when game time comes around at 2pm on Tuesday.

“It’s wicket dependent but they cover a lot of bases as they’re an experienced team,” Troughton added.

“They’re one of the stronger teams in the league and we got a pasting off them at Edgbaston so there’s some revenge to have there.

“But they come up against a Bears team that’s slightly different to the one they saw which was low in confidence and didn’t execute. Hopefully, they get the complete opposite.”

Watch Live

The Vitality Blast match versus Gloucestershire starts at 2pm in Bristol and is available to watch via the live stream on the Gloucestershire CCC website only.

To do this, you just need to create a free account, which allows access to the match centre.

Supporters can follow the score and view in-play clips via our Match Centre on

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