Paul Stirling smashed a scintillating debut century as Birmingham Bears launched their Vitality Blast campaign with a 125-run thrashing of Northants Steelbacks at Edgbaston.

Ireland batter Stirling blazed his career T20-best 119 from 51 balls (nine fours, ten sixes), including 34 from one over, to lift the Bears to 207 for three in an innings reduced by rain to 16 overs.

Sam Hain (66 not out, 32 balls, seven fours, one six) ensured the bowlers had no respite at the other end in a partnership of 170 from 70 balls which brought the big Edgbaston crowd to its feet.