Birmingham Bears v Leicestershire Foxes, NatWest T20 Blast
Everything went exactly to plan in the final match of the group stages when the Bears qualified for the quarter-final stages of the NatWest T20 Blast at Edgbaston after defeating the Foxes and then learning that the Nottinghamshire Outlaws had chased 201 to defeat the Yorkshire Vikings by six wickets and in doing helping the Bears qualify in fourth place in the group.
This results in an away match against Essex on Saturday August 2nd with a place at Finals Day at Edgbaston as the prize for the winner.
Earlier Varun Chopra led by example with his fourth half century in this season’s competition making 72 from just 57 deliveries and posting a half century opening partnership from 40 balls with William Porterfield 28 from 19 balls.
Jonathon Webb was stumped by O’Brien off Styris for 12 and then Rikki Clarke was caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary by Matt Boyce flicking the ball back into play and re-catching it, for 9.
A sharp throw from Styris found Evans 2, short of his ground, but after Chopra finally fell, Ateeq Javid 12* and Jeetan Patel 15 gave the last overs a boost as the Bears closed on 160-6 from their 20 overs.
In reply, the Foxes were never in the game after losing four wickets in the six power play overs for just 27 as Clarke, Hannon-Dalby and Gordon ripped away their top order.
Josh Poysden made his first team debut bowling three overs for 26, but Gordon 3-18, Hannon-Dalby 2-17 and Patel 2-22 and two run outs brushed the Foxes’ batsmen aside for just 108 with one ball of their 20 overs to spare.
Mathew Boyce 41, was the sole batsman to offer any resistance before being bowled by Recordo Gordon as the Bears qualified by one point for the next stage of the competition.