Twenty20 tussles between Birmingham Bears and Worcestershire Rapids invariably throw up something special.

But whatever the derby rivals lay before the big Edgbaston crowd in their NatWestT20Blast clash on Friday evening, they will do well to top their 2005 meeting there.

there was a huge crowd in, the Hollies Stand was absolutely packed

Neil Carter

You know – the one where the Bears needed 20 off three balls to win – and very nearly got them!

Few people in the 15,000 crowd that night will forget it. Similarly, the participants. Neil Carter, for one, remembers it vividly.

And not just because of the amazing finish. Even before Heath Streak almost pulled off the most stunning denouement in T20 history, Carter had taken five for 19, figures which remain the best in the format for the Bears.

“That is a proud achievement,” recalls the former Bear. “I remember coming on about fifth change and mixing my pace up from the Pavilion End. I got capped that night too so it was pretty special.”

Having helped bowl out the old rivals for 141, the left-hander then launched the Bears’ reply in typically explosive style with 17 from six balls before falling lbw to Nadeem Malik.

Oh yes, that’s something else he remembers. He copped a dodgy lbw decision!

“It was never out,” said Carter, who now coaches at a school back home in his native Cape Town but remains a passionate follower of the Bears. “The over went dot ball, four, four, four, four and then I got one that was going miles down leg-side. And it was high as well.

“I went off feeling a little bit aggrieved. And then to make matters worse, before I had even taken my pads off, Belly and Troughts had both been run out.”

That was 23 for three, which became 81 for nine, at which point the fat lady rose from her seat, poised to warble.

But in went last man Jimmy Anyon to join Streak at the crease and said lady had to sit back down again.

Carter takes up the story. “I remember it was nearly dark,” he said. “Dark and raining. You’d never have started a game in those conditions and usually you wouldn’t even have carried on but there was a huge crowd in, the Hollies Stand was absolutely packed, and it looked like it was game over so they might as well finish it.

That made it two from one and the crowd was going berserk

Neil Carter

“But Streaky started to connect with a few and suddenly it came down to 23 off the last over from Nadeem Malik.”

After a bit of swinging and missing, it was 20 off three balls. The fat lady cleared her throat.

Not so fast, madam. “We needed 20 off three and Malik delivered a leg-side wide that went for four. Wides cost two runs back then so that left the equation 14 from three. And Streaky hit the next two balls for six!

“That made it two from one and the crowd was going berserk. Then the last ball Streaky creamed it through extra cover to what was a very short Hollies side boundary. Three or four yards either side and it would have been our game but it went straight to the fielder and because it was such a short boundary there was no chance of a second run.

“Streaky was run out and we lost by one run. But what a game!”

Get Bears vs Rapids T20 Blast Tickets

Our next game is the massive local rivalry between Bears and Rapids. This game is always on of the highlights in our T20 calendar. Once again we’re delighted to be offering FREE admission for all Under 16s and our advanced sales window is now open, meaning you can save £4 on match day tickets when you buy online.  To secure your tickets please click here.