Birmingham Bears v Durham Jets
The Birmingham Bears recorded their second victory in this years’ competition when winning by six wickets against Durham Jets, after being set a target of 147 in 20 overs.
On the 20th anniversary of Brian Lara’s world record score of 501* it was fitting that Durham returned to the ground to provide the Bears’ opposition in the latest round of the t20 competition.
There was no Lara, in the Bears’ line-up this time, but they did welcome Shoaib Malik, making his Bears debut replacing Chris Woakes, away on Test duty, as the sole change to the winning side from Sunday’s victory over the Leicestershire Foxes.
Varun Chopra won the toss and put Durham into bat and was quickly rewarded with a wicket courtesy of a superb pick up and accurate throw from Shoaib when he ran out Durham skipper Mark Stoneman when he attempted a quick single off the final ball of the opening over.
Phil Mustard followed soon afterwards when he pulled Boyd Rankin to Chris Wright in the deep before former Bear, Calum MacLeod on loan from Scotland for the t20, added 40 for the third wicket with Scott Borthwick until MacLeod gave Jeetan Patel the charge and was stumped by Tim Ambrose for 27.
Rankin then had Collingwood 11 caught at deep mid-wicket by Chopra while the bowler’s rapid reaction and accurate throw brought Borthwick’s innings to a close next ball, with a direct hit as Borthwick was stranded following Rankin’s fine fielding.
When Patel then bowled Stokes, first ball, Durham had lost three wickets in three balls and were teetering on 81-6 in only the 13th over, before a partnership of 56 between Australian, John Hastings on debut and Gordon Muchall helped the visitors reach 146-7 from their 20 overs.
William Porterfield gave the Bears’ reply a quick start before picking out Macleod off Arshad for 16 off just 10 deliveries.
Jonathan Webb 28 and Varun Chopra added 57 in just eight overs and then, after Chopra had completed his half century, he chopped a delivery from Arshad into his stumps with nthe Bears requiring just 34 more runs from 19 balls.
Shoaib 28 was caught by MacLeod off Stokes at deep mid-wicket, but Laurie Evans put the result beyond the reach of the visitors when slamming 21 from just ten deliveries to secure the Bears a six wicket victory with five balls to spare.