Northamptonshire Steelbacks v Warwickshire Bears, FLt20
The Bears travelled to Wantage Rd, Northampton for their second t20 match of the season against the Northamptonshire Steelbacks and made one change from the side beaten in Cardiff earlier in the week with Keith Barker replacing William Porterfield absent in International duty.
Again, Varun Chopra skippered the Bears with Jim Troughton still suffering from back problems and after losing the toss the Bears were in the field at the start of the Northants innings.
Richard Levi and Karl Coetzer were in aggressive form and raced to a half century partnership in the opening six power-play overs against the Bears’ quick bowlers.
The introduction of Jeetan Patel and Ateeq Javid’s spin put a brake on the scoring rate and brought an opening wicket when Levi’s straight drive was well caught at long-on by Chris Woakes with the South African opener on thirty five from just twenty one deliveries and the Steelbacks 63-1 in the eighth over.
Cameron White joined Koetzer and maintaining the strong start completed the second half century partnership of the innings before falling to a pull to deep mid-wicket Barker off Patel for twenty eight in the fifteenth over. Northants skipper Alex Wakely twenty four from seventeen balls and Koetzer then added a further forty three from thirty two balls with Koetzer finishing unbeaten on seventy one from sixty one balls as the Steelbacks’ innings closed on 161-2 from their twenty overs.
In reply, the Bears made a steady start with Maddy and Chopra keeping up with the required rate before Azharullah bowled Maddy 15 attempting a drive and three balls later Chopra 19 played across a full delivery from ex-Bear, Lee Daggett. Thirty five for no wicket had quickly become thirty seven for two and after an out-of-touch innings from Laurie Evans, six from fifteen balls, was ended when bowled by White, the Bears slipped further and further behind the required rate.
Ateeq Javid in only his second t20 match continued to score at better than a run-a-ball as he lost partner Rikki Clarke 3 to a good catch on the cover boundary by Koetzer before sharing in a fifth wicket partnership of forty four runs from only thirty balls.
After Woakes 22 was caught on the long-on boundary by Willey off Azharullah, Javid quickly followed, bowled by Daggett off the first ball of a new spell, while Azharullah then bowled both Barker 6 and Patel 2, finishing with 4-25 from his four overs as the Bears run chase collapsed needing thirty seven to win from just eight balls.
Mckay and Piolet took the Bears to 134-8 by the end of their twenty overs but the Steelbacks recorded a comfortable victory by twenty seven runs to complete their second win in this season’s competition