Birmingham Bears v Worcestershire Rapids, NatWest T20 Blast
In front of more than 12,500 spectators at Edgbaston, the Birmingham Bears maintained their interest in this season’s NatWest T20 Blast competition with a five-wicket win over Worcestershire, thanks to skipper Varun Chopra’s 29 ball half century.
The Bears won the toss and fielded and the evening began well for the Bears when Oliver 4 was bowled driving at Rikki Clarke in the opening over, but then Tom Kohler-Cadmore shared in a stand of 73 in eight overs with Rapids’ captain Daryl Mitchell.
A first half-century in the competition for Kohler-Cadmore came after hitting three sixes and five fours as he raced to 51 from 34 balls, including hitting Chris Wright for two sixes.
Ateeq Javid finally made the breakthrough when Kohler-Cadmore fell to a catch to short third man before Daryl Mitchell 33 clipped a slower ball from Oliver Hannon-Dalby to backward square leg and then Munro and Kervezee were dismissed in the space of five balls from Patel.
In trouble at 107 for 5 Ross Whiteley, 20, and Ben Cox, 34* batted well to help the Rapids reach 175-6 from their twenty overs.
Chasing the target in a positive fashion, taking 70 runs in the six over Powerplay, Varun Chopra put on 73 with William Porterfield in the first seven overs before Porterfield’s enterprising innings came to close when caught off Saeed Ajmal for 36 from just twenty balls.
Jonathon Webb was stumped off Ajmal and with the margin needed for victory reducing rapidly, Laurie Evans and Rikki Clarke went in successive overs.
Then, in Ajmal’s final over, Varun Chopra was caught at short third-man for 74 but with just 10 required from 10 balls, Chris Woakes 17* and Ateeq Javid saw the Bears home to a five wicket victory with four balls to spare.