Vitality Blast 2019
Fri 16 August, 18:30

Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

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Lancashire Lightning

Lancashire Lightning

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Lancashire Lightning

Bears

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Abandoned: Bears @ Lightning

The only surprise at all was prompted by the fact that the umpires took the decision to call the game off relatively early, at 3.45pm. By then, though, the ground was saturated, there were large puddles on the outfield and more rain was forecast.

The abandonment is Lancashire’s fourth in this year’s Blast and it leaves Dane Vilas’s team four points clear at the top of the North Group before the fate of any other of Friday’s evening’s games had been decided. They now need one win to guarantee a place in the last eight

The have now had two games abandoned and are seventh out of the nine teams in the group but ave a good chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals with three of the final four matches being played at Edgbaston.

Jim Troughton said: “This group’s very tight and I’d take getting three points off the top of the table team.

“Everyone has a chance if they string together some performances but I think we can take a lot from the way we played against Lancashire last week.

“We’ve now got a four-day game to get our heads around and we’re then looking forward to a big game at home to Worcestershire Rapids on Friday.

“That’s always a really good game and if you can get some momentum at this stage of the competition, it gives you a really good chance of getting to the quarter-finals.”

Blast Preview: Bears at Lightning

Dom Sibley believes last Sunday’s 15-run victory over the Lancashire Lightning is the perfect confidence booster.

We’ve just got to keep staying confident, believe we can get in the top four and not put too much pressure on ourselves.

Dom Sibley

The Bears hadn’t won in their previous five but strong performances throughout the line-up, including Sibley, saw the Bears end Lancashire’s unbeaten start in the competition.

Next up is the return fixture at Emirates Old Trafford on Saturday and the opener believes the lads will travel in high spirits.

“To get a win against the only unbeaten in the competition was a massive confidence boost and hopefully we can build on that,” ,” said Sibley.

“It feels similar to a few years ago, when I first joined, where we needed to win most of the games to qualify.

“I looked at the table and the impression I had got was that we’d be lower than we were and instead we’re in a decent position and not too far off the top four.

“I know the forecast isn’t ideal on Friday night, but then we’ll have four games left with three of those at home including Worcestershire.

“That’s exciting and always a big one for us and then we’ll have Northants and Durham, who have beaten some strong teams.

“We’ve just got to keep staying confident, believe we can get in the top four and not put too much pressure on ourselves.

“We’ve got to enjoy it and be really free as that’s what T20 is all about

“If we express ourselves and play our best cricket, we’ll beat most teams.”

That free and easy style has certainly helped the England Lion.

In four games, the 23-year-old has scored 151 runs at an average of 37.75, just three runs higher than his career figure of 34 at a strike rate of 122.58.

“It’s nice to be back in the side and get a couple of fifties,” added Sibley.

“T20 is arguably the funnest competition and you want to be out there.

“I’ve done well for the Bears in previous years, and for Surrey as well, so to miss out at the start was frustrating, but I’m pleased I’ve got back in and doing well at the top of the order.

“Sam Hain is a very good white ball player and a very good player in general, so it’s good to be at the top with him as he’s had a really good competition so far as well.”

Live scorecard

The match live scorecard will appear here once the match is in play.

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