Leicestershire Foxes v Birmingham Bears, NatWest T20 Blast
The Birmingham Bears quickly put the disappointment of their defeat at Old Trafford behind them when they beat Leicestershire Foxes by 25 runs at Grace Road after William Porterfield had earlier made an attacking 67.
The Foxes won the toss and put the Bears into bat at Grace Road and found the opening pair of Varun Chopra 24 and William Porterfield 67 in good form, posting a first wicket partnership of 49 before Chopra was bowled leg stump by Taylor as he looked to force through the on side.
Jonathan Webb 5 was caught in the deep by Taylor off Cobb and an excellent piece of fielding from Eckersley ran out Tim Ambrose 6, as he was sent back by Porterfield.
Laurie Evans joined Porterfield, who completed his half century, adding 60 for the fourth wicket from 34 balls before Porterfield’s fine innings came to an end when he skied Cobb to Eckersley. His 67 came off just 46 deliveries and included five fours and two sixes.
Evans 23 followed soon after caught off a full blooded off pull to long on by Taylor off Buck who then bowled Patel first ball.
Chris Woakes became Buck’s third victim and Keith Barker quickly followed to a good caught and bowled from Ireland, but while wickets were falling, at the other end, Ateeq Javid crashed 27 runs from just 12 deliveries to maintain the impetus to the end of the innings which finally closed on 175-9 from the 20 overs.
In reply, the Foxes made a poor start against the Bears’ strong pace combination, with O’Brien 4 out to Woakes and danger man Josh Cobb 9, giving Chopra a comfortable catch off Wright’s bowling.
Boyd Rankin produced a good delivery to bowl Greg Smith 8, in the sixth over and despite a consolidating partnership of 45 in 36 balls between Eckersley18 and Sarwan 37, the Foxes were never allowed to get back into the match and when Patel removed both batsmen, the Foxes were facing a highly improbable task of making 78 for victory from just 28 remaining deliveries.
Tom Wells then provided the best innings for the home side, hitting four sixes and three fours in his 51 from 30 balls, before Chris Wright bowled him off an inside edge with the final ball of the match as the Foxes closed on 150-6 leaving the Birmingham Bears winners, for the first time this season, by 25 runs.