Northamptonshire Steelbacks v Birmingham Bears, NatWest T20 Blast
The Bears were beaten at Northampton by 15 runs when failing to chase down the Steelbacks’ 139-8.
Northamptonshire Steelbacks v Birmingham Bears t20 at Northampton July 3rd 2014
There was a terrific start for the Bears after winning the toss and fielding, when Chris Wright had Richard Levi caught behind by Tim Ambrose first ball of the match and in the second over David Willey’s attempted drive went straight up in the air off the top of the bat and Porterfield took the catch running in from point with Northants 6-2 after the second over.
With the Bears’ bowling attack keeping a tightline, the Steelbacks finished the power play on 30-2 with Rossington the more aggressive batsman on 18.
Rossington was next to go, bowled by Jeetan Patel for 27 to give Patel his 100th t20 wicket from 105 matches with Northants 52-3 after ten overs.
Stephen Crook 3 was next to go getting an outside edge that spun up to Shoaib Malik at short third man off the first ball of the 11th over from Ateeq Javid.
Northants lost their fifth wicket, Ben Duckett when getting a leading edge as he tried to turn Patel to leg and the ball looped up for Patel to take a simple return catch with Northants 79-5 after 14 overs.
Kyle Coetzer’s patient innings came to an end when he lofted Patel down to a tumbling Laurie Evans at long-on for 40 with Patel finishing his spell with figures of 3-19.
In the next over Chris Wright took his second wicket when James Middlebrook tried to hit him over the top but found Porterfield at long on without scoring, as Northants reached 100-7 after 17 overs.
Graham White came in with Matthew Spriegel and hit Malik for two sixes and then repeated the process against Hannon-Dalby before falling to a good running catch by Porterfield next ball having made 34 from just 12 balls with Northants closing their innings on 139-8 from their 20 overs.
When the Bears began their reply, Varun Chopra had a let-off in the second over when he was dropped at extra-cover by Willey to a ball above his head. The escape didn’t last too long as Willey made up for his drop by bowling Chopra 4 who played loosely round a straight delivery.
William Porterfield 8 was run out after calling Webb for a quick single when Willey picked up and dived into the stumps at the striker’s end with the Bears 36-2 after five overs.
At the end of the power-play the Bears were 39-2 just nine runs ahead of the Steelbacks at the same stage but as the Steelbacks tightened their grip, Jonathan Webb was bowled in the eighth over by James Middlebrook for 13 from 20 balls.
44-3 from eight overs, the Bears were looking for a partnership as the asking rate went up to eight an over with Malik and Clarke together reaching the halfway mark on 60-3 with 80 still required.
The partnership was worth 35 when Clarke drilled White to Crook at extra cover for 12 with 63 more runs needed from 46 balls and in the same over Laurie Evans was lbw for a duck as the Bears slipped to 78-5 after 13.
Ateeq Javid 1 followed well caught by White off Crook after a struggle to score to be replaced by Jeetan Patel.
Off the 15th over the Bears took 18 runs with sixes from both Malik and Patel to get them back into the game but Crook’s next over only brought three runs leaving the Bears needing 41 from 24 balls.
Shoaib Malik was caught on the mid-wicket boundary of Azharullah for 47 with 39 needed from 20 balls and then Jeetan Patel and Tim Ambrose were faced with the task of scoring at 12 an over for victory.
Azharullah then bowled Ambrose for six leaving the task at 20 off six balls with just two wickets in hand but Wright’s unorthodox shot to fine leg found Azharullah waiting off Stone’s first ball.
Two runs off the next three balls left an impossible task as the Steelbacks beat the Bears by 15 runs