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DURHAM JETS (H) – 3 June 2016

Durham Jets will provide another tough test for the Birmingham Bears when they arrive at Edgbaston as the middle instalment of the early-season Friday-evening treble.

Often a powerful force in four-day cricket, Durham have under-performed in T20 over the years.

Brian Halford, Club Journalist

The Bears will be looking to extend their strong record against the northern county in T20, having up to now been beaten just once in six meetings.

Durham have, of course, not always enjoyed visits to the Second City in early June. Twenty-two years ago they ran into a certain Brian Lara who enjoyed himself to the tune of 501 not out – including 62 fours and ten sixes!

The spectators will be hoping the fours and sixes flow again on June 3, perhaps from Ian Bell who last season almost became only the third player to score a T20 ton against Durham (after Mal Loye and Jonny Bairstow) when he struck 90 at The Riverside. It was the highest T20 innings for the Bears – but only for 27 days until Brendon McCullum bettered it by blasting 158 against Derbyshire at Edgbaston.

One of McCullum’s predecessors as Birmingham’s overseas player, Shoaib Malik, starred when the Jets visited Edgbaston in 2014. The Pakistan all-rounder’s dazzling debut started with a direct-hit run out of Mark Stoneman in the first over and also included three tight overs and a measured 28 to steer the Bears to victory.

Often a powerful force in four-day cricket, Durham have under-performed in T20 over the years, reaching Finals Day only once, in 2008, when they were beaten in the semi-finals by Middlesex. It is a gap in their short but otherwise impressive history in county cricket that they are desperate to fill – and the Bears will need to be at their best on June 3.

Snap up some tickets

Tickets are on sale at Edgbaston.com/Tickets and are priced at £15 in the Early Bird window. Prices will rise on 20th April to £19. As ever all Under 16s have FREE entry to every group game fixture, but must be accompanied by an adult.