CRICKET - Woakes returns as Birmingham Bears beat Vikings and Falcons - The Rugby Observer

CRICKET - Woakes returns as Birmingham Bears beat Vikings and Falcons

Aaron Sutcliffe 17th Jun, 2024 Updated: 17th Jun, 2024   0

BIRMINGHAM Bears returned to winning ways in the T20 Blast with a pair of impressive victories against Yorkshire Vikings and Derbyshire Falcons.

The Bears claimed a four-wicket win against the Vikings with 11 balls to spare at Edgbaston before then securing a seven-wicket win against the Falcons with seven balls left at the County Ground.

And the results mean the Bears sit second in the T20 Blast North Group standings, ahead of Leicestershire Foxes and Northamptonshire Steelbacks on net run rate.

Against Yorkshire, the Vikings made a strong start, after Richard Gleeson (2-16) bowled Adam Lyth (5) as Dawid Malan (38) and Joe Root (39) helped Yorkshire reach 77-1.

Root’s knock included hitting the returning Chris Woakes (0-36) for successive sixes before he eventually fell to Danny Briggs (3-26).

Birmingham’s spin bowlers turned the game in the home side’s favour as Jake Lintott (3-15) accounted for Vikings captain Shan Masood (10).

Wickets continued to fall as Dan Mousley (1-20) accounted for Donovan Ferreira (13) before Briggs took the crucial wicket of Malan and then Jordan Thompson (2) to leave Yorkshire on 118-6 as the Bears took five wickets in 35 balls.

However, the Vikings continued to play reckless shots as Lintott bowled Matt Revis (13) before Alex Davies stumped Jafer Chohan (0).

And Dom Bees (8) chipped Hasan Ali (1-29) to cover before Conor McKerr (10) slashed Gleeson to third man with the Viking all out for 145.

The Bears stuttered in their reply as Davies (1) fell to Daniel Moriarty (1-35) after just five balls while Bess (1-26) bowled Rob Yates (4) to leave Birmingham in trouble on 16-2.

However, Sam Hain (53 not out) and Mousley (41) combined to put the Bears in command before the latter fell attempting to hit his third six of the match off the bowling of Thompson (4-31).

And a fine knock from Jacob Bethell (32) left the Bears needing 30 runs from 39 balls before he and Chris Benjamin (0) fell to Thompson in consecutive balls.

Thompson also accounted for Woakes (6) as Hain and Briggs (8 not out) guided the Bears to victory with 11 balls to spare.

And the Bears claimed a similarly patient win against Derbyshire after limiting to Falcons to 133-7 from their 20 overs.

Bears bowler George Garton (1-17) took the early scalp of opener Aneurin Donald (2) before Gleeson (2-25) had Cam Fletcher (13) and Wayne Madsen (0) caught in the same over.

Derbyshire recovered as David Lloyd (50) and Brooke Guest (38 not out) helped the Falcons reach 93-4 as Briggs (2-23) eventually accounted for the former and then Samit Patel (2).

Woakes (1-21) claimed his first wicket since returning to the side after he bowled Ross Whiteley (6) before Garton ran out Zak Chappell (6) as the Falcons closed on 133-7.

In reply, the Bears lost Yates (0) to a two-ball duck in the first over as Daryn Dupavillon (1-13) struck before Davies (16) was caught off the bowling of Pat Brown (2-25).

Mousley (66 not out) and Hain (43) combined well and put on 93 runs for the third wicket before Brown bowled the latter.

However, Mousley remained at the crease to help the Bears to a comfortable victory with seven balls remaining.

Birmingham Bears continue their T20 Blast campaign against Northants on Thursday, June 20 with the game to begin at 7pm at Edgbaston.

The Bears then travel to local rivals Worcestershire on Friday, June 21 with the match to start at 5.30pm at New Road.

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