July, 2015: Bears withstand Kleinveldt assault – just…

NatWestT20Blast finishes don’t get better than this as the Steelbacks, chasing Birmingham’s total of 154 for five, closed on 153 for six to suffer defeat by the agonising margin of just one run.

Put in, the Bears were given a strong start by openers Varun Chopra and Brendon McCullum who added 57 in 45 balls. McCullum fell for 26 (19 balls) but captain Chopra went on to a half-century before being bowled by Steven Crook for 54 from 48 balls.

Chopra hit one six but, on a slow pitch, batting was not straightforward and the Bears cleared the ropes only twice in the innings (Tom Lewis smiting one into the pavilion) on the way to 154.

When the Steelbacks replied, Olly Hannon-Dalby swiftly removed dangermen David Willey and Richard Levi and when Recordo Gordon had Ben Duckett caught by OHD the visitors were wobbling at 30 for three. Then the Bears spinners weaved their magic.

Josh Poysden and Jeetan Patel between them bowled eight canny overs for 53 runs to send the Steelbacks well behind the clock. Needing 44 from the last three overs, it appeared Northants were out of contention – but Kleinveldt came out firing. He faced just 11 balls and hit three of them for six on his way to a thrilling 29 which almost brought the Steelbacks the 18 runs they needed from the last over. What a game!

Friday July 14

The Bears face the Northants Steelbacks this Friday night at 7.00pm here at Edgbaston Stadium. Secure advanced adult tickets at just £19- and with our ticket exchange/refund policy in place, there’s no need to wait on the weather. Remember, Under 16s go free but must be accompanied by an adult.