It was another special T20 night at Edgbaston. And it should come as no surprise that Sam Hain was centre of attention.
The Bears all-time leading T20 run scorer made batting look easy on a night that saw a bumper crowd for Blast Off – the Vitality Blast curtain raiser.
With his side on 51/4, Hain carried the Bears to 200/6, scoring 83* (45 balls, 7×4, 4×6) and putting on a valuable 97 with Chris Benjamin that turned an innings on it’s head.
“Luckily for us we’ve had a bit of a build up going into tonight,” said Hain who was voted Talbots Law Player of the Match. “I think it’s tricky to go from the last five, six weeks of Championship cricket straight into T20 with 14,000 people here. The nerves, the adrenalin, I’ve certainly missed nights like tonight, but the most important thing is we’ve got the win on the board.
“We’ve got a dressing room that’s quite a close knit group and a team that really wants to do well. We’ve reached the quarter-finals in the last couple of years and we really want to push for a spot in Finals Day here.
“From a personal point of view, I’ve played in one and that went far too quickly, so I’d love to experience that again. We know it’s very early days, but I think we’re playing a brand of cricket that we know and trust and we’re just going to take it game by game.”
Speaking of his match-winning innings, Hain added: “Credit also has to go to Benji tonight. It just goes to show that if you have a partnership or build a partnership, it’s hard to stop when you’ve got two players in and you’re able to put pressure back on. I think we had to absorb a little bit.
“I’m a firm believer that you’ve got more time than you think in T20. If you don’t get off to that flying start, that I think a lot of batters want and need, there’s still time.”
To make the night more memorable, the 27-year-old passed 3,000 T20 runs. When asked if he knew the milestone was looming, Hain said with a smile: “I was aware of that yes. I’ve been focusing for five weeks on red ball and then going into tonight the nerves were a little bit more pronounced. I had my dad here and he’s not seen my play here very often.
“Of course I want to play well for the team and the Club, but I really wanted to do well for him tonight.”
Blast is back! Buy your tickets in advance & save
Vitality Blast T20 cricket is back! And fans can save £4 per ticket by purchasing in advance.
Next up is the big local derby against Worcestershire Rapids on Friday 23 June (6.30pm). Over 11,000 tickets have already been sold. Tickets Available from only £21, while groups of six or more can make further savings. Don’t miss it!