Chris Benjamin was delighted to not only make his Bear debut but impress on the big stage.

The ‘keeper/batsman struck an impressive 60 not out (34 balls, seven fours, two sixes) to help the Bears reach the quarter-final following their 17-run win over the Steelbacks.

Benjamin signed earlier this month after impressing for the Second XI this season and scoring 149 from just 66 balls with 12 fours and ten sixes – a record for a Warwickshire Second XI player – in a T20 against Glamorgan at Newport last month.

The 22-year-old captained the Bears in their Second XI Twenty20 Trophy triumph at Finals Day at Arundel last week.

“It was very special indeed,” said Benjamin.

“First off, to make my debut was incredible and to manage to get some runs in a winning cause was fantastic. 

“It’s been going nicely for myself and I’ve been waiting patiently. Obviously, we’ve got an experienced and talented side so I’m just delighted to get the chance and take it.”

Benjamin’s first taste of the Edgbaston outfield was somewhat unexpected.

Pencilled in to bat at number six, the South-African born batter was chosen to be Adam Hose’s runner following an injury in the earlier part of the game.

Unusual and potentially daunting, the former Durham MCCU star admits he used the experience to help him settle.

“To go out there and be a runner was a great experience as I could see how the wicket was playing,” Benjamin added.

“It was the first time I’ve done it so that’s a new experience and I managed to do it well I would say with no run out so that’s always a positive. 

“I think in a way it was an advantage for myself being on debut, there’s those first bits of nerves.

“(Before play) The coach said go out and be positive, play your strong shots and back your skills.

“You’ve been doing it in the twos, it’s no different here so back yourself.”