Blast 19 Report: Yorkshire Vikings v Birmingham Bears
Birmingham Bears snatched a tie from the jaws of defeat against Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley, a result which realistically suits neither side in the Vitality Blast.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore hit 76 not out off 54 balls and was looking like underpinning Yorkshire’s pursuit of 178, especially having shared 88 inside 10 overs for the first wicket with Adam Lyth (40).
But the Bears fought back to leave the Vikings needing 29 off three overs, 23 off two, 11 off the last and two off the last ball, which Kohler-Cadmore hit to mid-off for a single against Fidel Edwards.
Both sides finished on 177 for four, with Bears opener Dom Sibley earlier continuing his excellent summer with a polished 64.
Sibley’s 43-ball innings was the feature for the Bears after the visitors had been invited to bat. It was his first Blast innings of 2019 and included seven fours and two sixes.
While Yorkshire have now only won one from seven games in the North, Birmingham have won two from six. Both remain outside the North Group’s top four places.
Rain delayed the start by 40 minutes, until 3.10pm, and opener Sibley shared 37 and 62 for the first and second wickets with Michael Burgess and Sam Hain (31).
Sibley hit sixes over long-leg off David Willey and over long-on off Dom Bess’ off-spin on the way to his third fifty against Yorkshire in all formats this season.
The 23-year-old England Lion had come into the Birmingham side in place of out of form Ed Pollock and continued the form which has had him discussed as a potential Ashes opener.
Once both Sibley and Hain had departed (99 for two after 13 overs and 137 for four in the 18th), middle order pair Will Rhodes and Liam Banks boosted the total significantly.
Both hit two fours and a leg-side six apiece, with Rhodes not out on 22 off 13 balls and Banks 24 off 10. The last 17 balls of the innings yielded 40 runs.
Only Willey went at less than eight runs an over for the hosts.
Former South Africa fast bowler Duanne Olivier claimed two wickets but was expensive in three overs.
Lyth then got the Vikings chase up and running by hitting the lion’s share of 20 off the second over from Fidel Edwards, pulling a six over deep square-leg to take the score to 26 without loss.
Kohler-Cadmore, assuming captaincy duties from Steve Patterson after the seamer had left himself out in favour of a second spinner in youngster Jack Shutt, then took on the lead role as the hosts reached 50 in the fifth.
He top-edged Henry Brookes for six over fine-leg before Lyth caught him up on 40 in the ninth over (87 without loss).
Lyth was then stumped off Jeetan Patel’s off-spin in the next over before Kohler-Cadmore reached 50 off 34 balls and maintained the momentum alongside Willey, who hit three leg-side sixes in a quick-fire 30 off 15 balls.
He pulled West Indian quick Edwards over the ropes twice in the 13th over before falling to Alex Thomson’s off-spin – 131 for two in the 14th.
Brookes then had Gary Ballance caught at cover before Patel bowled Harry Brook scooping as the Bears fought back well, leaving the score at 151 for four in the 18th. But Kohler-Cadmore pulled Brookes for six with last ball of the 19th before Jonny Tattersall scooped the first ball of the last over for four off Edwards, who recovered to seal a point.