Report: Vikings v Bears, Vitality Blast
Bears put one foot in the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast with a four-run win over Yorkshire Vikings to stay top of the North Group.
An eighth win in 11 games came on the back of opener Rob Yates’ 66 off 51 balls and Dan Mousley’s career best four for 28 from four overs in Yorkshire’s 176 for eight.
Chris Woakes did his Ashes hopes no harm as he returned an excellent two for 21 from four overs, while Chris Benjamin hit a quickfire 45 off 27 from number three.
The Bears should have posted more than 180 for seven having elected to bat, but lost regular wickets during the second half of an innings held together by Yates who was run out off the last ball.
Dom Bess with one for 16 from three overs of off-spin and seamer Wiese’s one for 26 from four stood out for Yorkshire, who were sloppy in the field – both on the ground and catching.
Yates was dropped on 50 moments after reaching his second fifty of the campaign in 38 balls.
The Bears had a bright start checked when Alex Davies on 15 steered seamer Matthew Revis’s first ball to short third – 37 for one in the fifth over, which became 50 for one after six.
Yates and Benjamin settled for a couple of overs before the latter, in particular, put his foot down.
Benjamin hit five fours and a straight six in the ninth and 10th overs combined off Revis and leg-spinner Jafer Chohan, taking the score to 92 for one at halfway and him into the forties.
However, just short of a half-century, he drilled Jordan Thompson to mid-off, leaving the Bears at 97 for two and starting a bit of a collapse.
Glenn Maxwell pulled his second ball for a huge six onto the Headingley Lodge hotel’s top tier. But the Australian’s fireworks were only brief as he was bowled for 21 trying to get funky against Revis.
And wickets continued to fall. Mousley was run out following a mix-up with Yates before Ed Barnard and Jacob Bethell holed out off Dom Bess and David Wiese, leaving the score at 164 for six in the 18th.
Yates was strong on both sides of the wicket, pulling his only six over square-leg, but the Bears weren’t able to put themselves in the unassailable position they perhaps should have done.
Yorkshire also made a bright start to their innings, with Dawid Malan and Adam Lyth taking leg-side sixes off Brookes – in for rested Hassan Ali – in the second over.
But Malan holed out to deep cover off Maxwell’s off-spin and James Wharton edged Woakes to slip in the next two overs.
Lyth looked good for 34, and so did captain Shan Masood for 21. Both played some eye-catching shots. But Yorkshire’s recent Achilles heel has been batters failing to build on starts.
So when they both fell in successive overs – Lyth caught at short third off Mousley’s third ball of off-spin and Masood bowled by a beauty of a googly from Jake Lintott – Vikings fans were fearing the worst at 73 for four in the 11th.
Mousley trapped Jonny Tattersall lbw in his next over but home hopes were raised as all-rounders Thompson and Revis powerfully turned the tide.
They took the target to a still unlikely 41 from three overs at 140 for five.
However, Woakes returned to get Revis caught at deep square-leg for 32, conceding only two off his last over and paving the way for a comfortable run to the line for the Bears.
Mousley’s third wicket was Thompson brilliantly caught at long-on by a diving Jacob Bethell for 34.
He also bowled Bess to leave Brookes with breathing space in the last, though it got closer than it should have thanks to Wiese’s lusty late attack with 20.
Warwickshire first-team coach Mark Robinson said: “We’ve had two hard away games on the bounce, and tonight’s win was important. It gets us one step closer to the quarter finals.
“We were disappointed to get only 23 runs from the last four overs (of our innings). But I thought Woakesy bowled a vital over and closed the game out for us. He’s a quality player, and it was great to have him in this game.
“Mousley is a great talent. He’s growing as a cricketer and is a great character. He loves the big stage, and he’s a vital clog in our team with both the bat and ball.”
£15 tickets for home quarter-final
Bears have secured a home Vitality Blast quarter-final which will be on Thursday 6 July, with adult tickets only £15.
Tickets ware available online at tickets.edgbaston.com or on the day via the Ticket Office. Members and Season Pass holders can attend for free by scanning their card at the gate.