Blast Report: Foxes v Bears
Skipper Will Rhodes posted a career-best 79 in this format and Sam Hain overtook Ian Bell as Bears’ all-time T20 top scorer as North Group leaders Birmingham Bears notched a fourth consecutive win in the competition at Leicestershire.
The Bears – who have endured five straight away matches – continued their successful East Midlands road trip with a 35-run victory at the Uptonsteel County Ground.
Led by the impressive Captain, the Bears posted 190 for seven on a humid evening in front of the Sky cameras.
Defending for the second successive fixture, Mark Robinson’s side restricted the hosts to 155 all out after an impressive bowling effort that was complimented with two fantastic catches and a pair of stumpings. Tim Bresnan taking three for 29 and Danny Briggs three for 35 were the stars with the ball.
Asked to bat first, the Bears lost both openers to Naveen’s slower balls, Ed Pollock miscuing his to short fine leg and Pieter Malan spooning one to mid-on, which left Bears 42 for two from the powerplay.
But Rhodes, dropped off Colin Ackermann on 27 when Naveen misjudged a chance at long-on, hit clearly to clear the ropes five times as he and Hain added 113 from 62 balls before Rhodes mistimed one to caught at square leg.
Hain looked set for a fourth half-century in five innings but going after Ben Mike he holed out to long on, where Lewis Hill took a fine catch above his head, with Carlos Brathwaite caught at wide long off in the same over.
Mike claimed two more in the final over, tracking a skier from Michael Burgess out to midwicket for a return catch, before Dan Mousley hit the next ball straight to deep point, although Bresnan pulled the hat-trick ball for six and overthrows made for an untidy end.
Josh Inglis hit two of his first three balls to the boundary as Briggs opened the bowling for the Bears but was bowled trying to cut, setting the tone for a costly powerplay for the Foxes, who also lost Lilley to a stumping off Briggs, and Ackermann to a slower ball from Bresnan that he hit straight to mid-on to leave them 48 for three.
Rishi Patel raised home hopes with 30 from 25 balls and as he and Steel added 51 off 39 the Foxes needed 92 from eight overs. But after Patel’s flick off his legs found the fielder at square leg, Steel was beaten by Briggs and stumped, with Louis Kimber run out in the same over.
Hill was left unbeaten on 26 but wickets fell quickly at the other end, Bresnan dismissing Ben Mike and claiming his third wicket off the last ball as Ed Barnes holed out to deep midwicket.