Since his first season in 2013, Olly Hannon-Dalby has been a firm fans favourite with the Bears faithful, but what has been his greatest performance to date?

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10 not out v Somerset in the championship, Taunton, April, 2013

In only his second game for the Bears, Olly went out to bat an number 11 in the second innings with his side staring down the barrel. Needing 515 to win, the Bears had a tremendous go at it (Varun Chopra 108, Tim Ambrose 65, Laurie Evans 55) but last man OHD joined Rikki Clarke at the crease at 376 for nine. With 80 minutes left in the match, it appeared the admirable rearguard action would fail.

Furthermore, Olly went out to bat in discomfort from a broken arm…but they breed ’em tough in Halifax!

He dug in while Clarke farmed the strike and the overs and minutes ticked by. Somerset’s frustration grew, not least when umpire Nick Cook turned down an lbw decision which looked, to say the least, quite close.

Under intense pressure and, in Olly’s case, some pain, the last-wicket pair saw it through to add an unbroken 51. Clarke finished on a supremely skilful 61 and Olly on a heroic ten from 62 balls from 78 minutes of valiant resistance. Here, clearly, was a man who would give everything for the team. 

4-0-31-3 v Lancashire Lightning in the NatWestT20Blast final, Edgbaston, August 2014

Inside a packed Edgbaston, with the Bears fans in full cry, Varun Chopra’s side batted first in the final and totalled 181 for five. Decent…but probably about par. All to play for. The powerful Lightning batting line-up fancied it.

They started strongly; 40 without loss after five overs. But then wickets began to fall…and Olly was at the heart of the Bears’ steady dismantling of the Lightning challenge.

First he struck a huge blow, luring the Jos Buttler into a nick to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose. That was a huge psychological boost for the Bears and just as a big a blow for Lancashire. Steel-nerved and with bowling full of intelligent variations, Olly followed up with the wickets of Steve Croft and Jordan Clark…putting two more potential match-winners back in the hutch.

The Yorkie has inflicted on Lancashire a level of damage from which there was no way back. Edgbaston was rocking and soon the Blast trophy was lifted.

5 for 27 v Glamorgan in the Royal London Cup, Edgbaston, August 2015

The best way for a bowler to set up victory for his team in one-day cricket is by taking wickets. Olly did that to spectacular effect as he blew Glamorgan away with the best one-day bowling performance by a Bear for a decade.

He started by snuffing out Colin Ingram’s promising innings and removing David Lloyd in successive overs. On a very good batting pitch, OHD then imposed sustained pressure to force Chris Cooke, Graham Wagg and Andrew Salter into errors as Glamorgan’s innings subsided to a significantly under-par 179 all out.

OHD finished with 8.4-0-27-5, a superb effort in thankless bowling conditions, before the Bears batsmen put the pitch into perspective by coasting to 183 for one in 38.1 overs.

Match figures of 9 for 137 v Yorkshire in the championship at York, June, 2019

Against his former club, with the Bears under pressure near the foot of Division One, Olly underpinned a vital victory with bowling of the highest class in both innings.

On the ground on which, ten years earlier, he had taken 0 for 38 for Barnsley against York, Olly’s first-innings five-for restricted the White Rose to 276. He swiftly removed danger man Adam Lyth and returned to take out the lower order to truncate a dangerous counter attack from the home side.

Second time round, with the match perfectly balanced after the two first innings, Olly swung it the Bears’ way by dismissing Will Fraine and Gary Ballance in his new-ball spell. He added the wickets of Jonny Tattersall and Steve Patterson to help engineer a gettable target for Will Rhodes’s men.

The Bears’ three wicket victory was set up by the skills, strength and stamina of Olly in his 51.4 overs….true leadership of an injury-ravaged attack.

Match figures of 12 for 110 v Gloucestershire in the championship at Bristol, August, 2020

In strange surroundings, a Nevil Road ground devoid of spectators due to restrictions imposed in light of the pandemic, OHD put in a powerhouse performance to record career-best figures in the first innings and almost match them in the second.

First time round he delivered a consummate series of spells which amounted to 23.3-11-33-6 – an analysis which would have been even better had he not narrowly beaten the edge of the bat countless times. In the second innings, while the other seamers found their threat blunted by stubborn resistance from the home batsmen, OHD added another six wickets, the last four in a superb spell on the final morning of a tight contest.

Twelve wickets in the match, and 230 dot balls delivered, were testament to the qualities of a seamer at the peak of his powers.

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