T20 Blast 2024, WORCS vs BEARS North Group Match Report, June 21, 2024

Birmingham Bears 159 for 5 (Hine 76, Bethel 71*, Taylor 3-36) lost Worcestershire 155 for 7 (Jones 26*, Briggs 2-22) by five wickets

Sam Hayne and Jacob Bethel fired in a vitality blast to put Birmingham Bears top of Group North as they beat local rivals Worcestershire Rapids by five wickets at 'Visit Worcestershire New Road’.

With Worcestershire 155 for 7, Hayne and the Bethel Bears were reeling at the loss of 3 for 7. They both scored half-centuries and combined to lead Birmingham to their fourth straight win.

Hayne was dismissed with one run needed for 76 to complete 148 – the fourth-wicket partnership against Worcestershire in the tournament, breaking the 113 by Durham’s Callum McLeod and Paul Collingwood at Chester-le-Street in 2014. But Bethel were 71 not out and the Bears were home with 2.1 overs to spare.

Both batted with great determination and composure as Birmingham moved two points clear of previous leaders Lancashire with their sixth win of the summer.

For Worcestershire, it was their fifth successive defeat of the campaign and their hopes of emulating last summer’s quarter-final place have evaporated with six games remaining.

Worcestershire produced another inconsistent display with the bat and many of their players contributed to their own downfall as the set appeared.

The Bears spinners, Danny Briggs, Jack Lindott and Don Mousley, kept a tight grip on proceedings and added 4 wickets for 79 runs in their 12 overs.

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Adam Hoes led the Rapids against his former club, with captain Brett D’Oliveira ruled out again with a shoulder problem.

Shoaib Bashir was replaced by batsman Kashib Ali, who took a break from the game and returned to the home team.

Pearce brought in Michael Booth to replace pacer Richard Gleeson, who suffered a side strain in last night’s win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks.

Bears captain Alex Davies put the home side into bat on a new hybrid pitch.

Kashif hits Michael Booth over deep mid-wicket for a six, but tries to repeat the shot on the next ball and is run out.

Ed Pollock continued the onslaught against George Gordon, hitting him for a huge six off square and two fours in an over for 14 runs.

But Jake Lindott made a brilliant one-handed catch at mid-off to dismiss Josh Cupp off Craig Miles.

In the final over of the powerplay, Ed Pollock bowled Don Mousley straight into the hands of mid-on.

Gareth Roderick swings Bethel over midwicket for a six but is run out by a full length ball from Danny Briggs.

Briggs struck again when Hoss dropped a fine catch on the long-on boundary and Ethan Brooks fell in the same area outside Bethel.

Another big hitting effort from Nathan Smith led to his fall at long-off – at Lindot – before some spirited late hitting by Rob Jones and Tom Taylor.

Worcestershire needed early wickets and Smith struck twice in two balls in the opening over of Pearce’s innings.

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Ed Barnard tried to bend the New Zealander and took an easy catch to keeper Rodrigue, who then bowled a fine delivery to Mousley.

It was 7 for 3 when Hayden Walsh took a low chance after Bears skipper Alex Davies sliced ​​Taylor’s delivery to Hayden Walsh.

But Hayne, a frequent thorn in Worcestershire’s side, unleashed a succession of brilliant strokes as he and Bethel began a recovery, accelerating after an early rebuild.

It was Bethel who produced the power hitting, and he brought up his half-century – 37 – three balls short of Hayne with the third of his three sixes.

Hayne and Chris Benjamin were dismissed late on by Tom Taylor before Bears sealed victory.

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