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Northants Steelbacks (H) – 1 July 2016

Beaten finalists last season, after knocking the Bears out in the semi-final, Northants Steelbacks will arrive at Edgbaston this time round just as the group stage is approaching its business end. This is set to be a crucial game.

A brilliant T20 night.

Brian Halford, Club Journalist

Over the years the Bears have played the Steelbacks more than any other opposition in T20 – 25 times – and are just shading the series so far with 15 wins to their neighbours’ ten.

Familiar rivals from their frequent meetings in the old Midlands/Wales/West group, the two counties have fought out some wonderful matches with great individual feats. Neil Carter sending the spectators running the cover with big-hitting at Campbell Park; Darren Maddy and Jim Troughton thrilling the Edgbaston crowd with a 116 stand at Edgbaston – still the Bears’ T20 second-wicket partnership record; two of the Bears’ five  200-plus totals in T20 coming against Northants – in 2003 (Nick Knight 69 not out, Trevor Penney 42, Extras 37) and 2005 (Ian Bell 66 not out, Knight 61, Carter 40).

The crowd on July 1 would certainly settle for a repeat of last season’s wonderful match between the teams at Edgbaston. After Varun Chopra’s half-century lifted the Bears to 154 for five, the Steelbacks seemed out of it when Rikki Clarke bowled his four overs for just 16 runs and Recordo Gordon and Olly Hannon-Dalby shared five wickets.

The Steelbacks needed 55 from four overs and 20 from the last, at which point a thrilling assault from Rory Kleinveldt almost took them over the line. The final margin of victory: one run! A brilliant T20 night.

July Double

Take advantage of our July Double offer and see 2 games for just £30. Fans can see either Northants Steelbacks, Leicestershire Foxes and Notts Outlaws at Edgbaston. Under 16s come to all home groups games absolutely FREE.

Snap up your tickets today.