Lancashire Lightning v Birmingham Bears, NatWest T20 Blast
The Birmingham Bears went down to Lancashire Lightning by 15 runs at Old Trafford after having dismissed the home side for 126 earlier in the evening.
Lancashire won the toss and batted at Old Trafford as the Bears’ season got underway following the no result at Edgbaston in the opening match against the Yorkshire Vikings.
Keith Barker’s early wicket came when Alex Davies edged to Ambrose in the third over for seven having hit his previous delivery for six.
Having restricted Lancashire to 34 from the opening five overs, Chris Wright went for 17 in his second over, but Boyd Rankin’s second over brought a wicket, with Brown, mistiming an attempted hook and falling to another Ambrose catch for nine, while costing just one run.
70-2 after nine overs, Lancashire lost two wickets in Jeetan Patel’s next over when Horton was lbw for nine, missing an attempted reverse sweep and then the dangerous Tom Smith was caught by a diving Ateeq Javid at deep square-leg for 44 from just 27 deliveries.
Javid then picked up the wicket of Croft to a third Ambrose catch, as Lancashire slipped to 77-5 at the end of 11 overs.
Jordan Clark and Andrea Agathangelou added 30 at a run-a-ball, before Patel collected a third wicket when Clark was caught by Barker in the deep, who then ran out Arron Lilley in the same over for a single, before Patel finished his four over spell with 3-15.
Ateeq Javid second wicket came in the next over when Varun Chopra caught Kabir Ali for a duck and in the next over Boyd Rankin had Agathangelou caught by Jonathan Webb at deep square-leg for 21.
Rankin finished with 2-15 and Javid 2-20 from their four overs as Keith Barker wrapped up the Lightning innings for 126 with one ball left when Ambrose’s fourth catch of the night brought Junaid Khan’s knock to an end for nine.
In reply Chopra and Porterfield got the Bears off to a solid start, reaching 29 before Junaid Khan dismissed Porterfield for 14, when hooking straight to Lilley at deep backward square-leg, followed by Chopra being caught at the wicket by Davies off Kabir Ali for 13, five balls later.
Jonathon Webb, on debut was next to go for three, to Stephen Parry and when Rikki Clarke was run out in the same over for a single, when Davies’ direct hit at the non-striker’s end found Clarke short of his ground , the Bears had lost four wickets for just five runs in 12 deliveries.
Now on the back foot, Evans 20 and Ambrose 22 added 45 from 48 balls, but once they had gone, Keith Barker was bowled first ball by Junaid Khan, and despite Ateeq Javid’s 15 from 13 balls Junaid Khan collected a fourth wicket for just 12 runs from his four overs before Kabir Ali 3-23 finished off the Bears’ innings with the wickets of Patel, caught at deep mid-on and Rankin, caught on the boundary, in the final over of the match. It left the Bears 111 all out from exactly twenty overs and falling sixteen runs short of their target for victory.