Warwickshire Bears v Worcestershire, Friends Life t20
Photographs from this match http://philbrittphotos.zenfolio.com/p139753380
Once again, Varun Chopra won the toss and elected to field first on beautiful summer evening where the Bears were hoping to perform well in front of their largest crowd of the season when entertaining the Worcestershire Royals.
Moeen Ali immediately looked to be in prime touch, pulling Ateeq Javid’s opening over into the stands for two sixes and then drilling another delivery down the ground for four in the first six deliveries of the match.
New Road had provided the best wicket of the season for the Bears in the earlier fixture and the Bears ground staff had reciprocated with what looked to be a similar perfect playing surface as Moeen and Samaraweera plundered fifty six from the six power play overs before Moeen skied an attempted drive in Patel’s first over to be caught by William Porterfield for thirty seven from just twenty three balls.
Worcestershire then managed to waste the tremendous strt given by their openers as the rate gradually slipped from the opening ten per over as Patel, Piolet and Maddy not only applied the brake, but took wickets as well.
Samaraweera went into his shell after Moeen’s dismissal and was bowled by a beauty from Steff Piolet then knocked his off stump out of the ground, while Mitchell and Russell were victims of trying to go over the top but only succeeding in picking out Woakes and Evans respectively to give Maddy and Clarke wickets.
With the scoring rate dropping, Andrew 9 and Kervezee 27 went to consecutive deliveries with the total on 123 and despite some late attacking from Joe Leach 13, Woakes picked up a couple of late wickets to restrict Worcestershire to a disappointing 146-8 from their twenty overs after such a good start.
In reply the Bears suffered an early setback when Porterfield was bowled by Russell for a single, but Darren Maddy joined Varun Chopra, and in a repeat of their performance at New Road a couple of weeks earlier, they proceeded to bat the Royals out of the match. Starting watchfully, but becoming increasingly aggressive, both batsmen took full advantage of anything short, building a partnership of 107 from just eighty one deliveries before Maddy edged Russell to ‘keeper Cox with just 32 needed from thirty balls.
Chopra completed his half century and Rikki Clarke was not going to let the opportunity for a win disappear, as he smashed eighteen from just eight balls, including two huge sixes pulling Moeen away into the stands for four to complete an eight wicket win with fifteen balls to spare. Chopra was unbeaten on seventy five at the close with 3 sixes and six fours, as the win kept the Bears’ hopes of qualification for the quarter-finals alive depending on beating Somerset in their final match at Edgbaston on Tuesday July 30th