Adam Hose starred with the bat for Bears – hitting a mighty seven sixes in an innings of 65 from just 34 balls.
But, after losing their first three wickets for 28, Lightning staged a superb recovery with Glenn Maxwell and Keaton Jennings putting together a century stand which threatened to earn Lancashire an impressive victory.
Maxwell’s dismissal for 79 – when he was bowled by Will Rhodes – brought an end to Lightning’s hopes
And when Jennings fell to Rhodes – again – in the final for 35 over it sealed a much-needed win for Bears who are now fifth after reviving their own hopes.
Dom Sibley and Sam Hain staged an opening stand of 53 to provide the base for their victory as Bears produced an improved batting
Birmingham moved up a gear in the fourth over which produced 18 runs – including two wides from pace bowler Richard Gleeson.
And they passed the 50 mark two overs later, but it was leg spinner Matt Parkinson who claimed the first wicket of the day when he had Hain stumped after making 21.
Hain had been promoted to open the batting following his innings of 49 against Nottinghamshire and he scored a four and a six before departing.
In came man of the match Hose whose innings was to prove crucial.
But Sibley continued his progress with two boundaries in successive deliveries.
Off-spinner Liam Livingstone was introduced in the 11th over introduced and was hit for two sixes by Hose.
Bears passed the 100 mark in the 12th over before Sibley reached 50 off 38 balls.
But Hose had his eyes on sixes and he drove Glenn Maxwell to bring up the half century partnership with Sibley.
Then Parkinson tempted Sibley into a shot which saw him caught by Steven Croft on the long-on boundary.
That signalled a wobble for Bears with Rhodes falling to Livingstone for a duck after facing only two balls.
But Hose put them back on track and brought up his half century with a well placed four – the only one of his innings – and followed it up with two successive sixes.
Parkinson brought an end to Hose’s innings with the first ball of his return to the Lightning attack.
But Livingstone slammed the brakes on in the final over with two wickets in successive balls.
In reply, Lightning e reduced to 28 for three by the sixth over.
But then Maxwell and Jennings steadied the innings in style.
Maxwell was the dominant batsman and he reached 50 with his sixth four of the day after facing 28 balls.
Maxwell then brought up a nine-over century stand when he pulled Oliver Hannon-Dalby for a six over square leg in an over that produced 22 runs.
But then Rhodes produced the wicket that Bears wanted in the 16th over when he bowled Maxwell with Lightning on 135 for four – still 45 runs short of their target.
Maxwell’s innings came off 39 balls and included eight fours and four sixes. But Bears claimed quick wickets after that and Jennings was unable to respond.