Sam Hain continued his winter form in the South African sun as the Bears chased down 161 with four balls remaining to beat Northants Steelbacks at Claremont Cricket Club.

Hain, batting three, struck 70 (43 balls, seven fours, two sixes) to ensure Mark Robinson’s side started their pre-season tour with a victory.

Winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, the Bears took wickets at regular intervals to keep the Steelbacks at arms reach.

Led by Captain Josh Cobb (67 runs, 45 balls), Northants reached 160/7 with Olly Hannon Dalby (2/21) and George Garrett (2/31) starring with the ball.

Jacob Bethell, Jake Lintott and Craig Miles, who got the key wicket of Cobb, also chipped in, setting up an intriguing chase in hot, humid conditions.

With Dan Mousley and Alex Davies (17) departing, a 61-run partnership between Hain and Michael Burgess (20) lifted the Bears from 33/2 to 97/3.

But once Burgess and Hain fell, the Steelbacks restricted the Bears to 118/4, needing 43 from seven overs.

More wickets followed, but the calmness of Ethan Brookes and Craig Miles (18 runs, 9 balls) in the penultimate and final over saw the side home.

Early Bird tickets for Vitality Blast on sale now

Early Bird tickets for this summer’s Vitality Blast are now on general sale, with prices starting from only £13.

Get tickets for £13 for the Bank Holiday game against Lancashire Lightning and from £17 for all other T20 games. But don’t wait too long, only 1,500 tickets are available for each match at this price.

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