Birmingham Bears earn spot at home Finals Day

Published Add your comment

Football News

Reigning champions Birmingham Bears booked their place in another NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day after knocking out Essex Eagles in the quarter-finals for the second year running.

The Bears will be at the Finals Day at their own Edgbaston home on August 29 after beating the Eagles by 24 runs in front of 7,000 people on a cool, damp evening in Birmingham.

Put in, the Bears rallied after a sketchy start to make a meaty 189 for five with Laurie Evans striking 50 from 31 balls and Chris Woakes adding an unbeaten 48 from 23.


Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article:

Essex then mustered only 165 for six in reply as several batsmen made starts but none went on to play the match-shaping innings required.

While England captain Alastair Cook was not selected by Essex, his fellow Ashes hero Ian Bell was back for the Bears but made just seven before lifting Reece Topley to mid-off.

Topley and David Masters pegged Birmingham back well early on. William Porterfield struck 23 from 16 balls but then sliced Shaun Tait's first ball to third man.

Varun Chopra'a laboured 24-ball 18 ended with a catch at extra cover and when Rikki Clarke lifted Ryan ten Doeschate to cover, the Bears were 88 for four and on the back foot.

But Essex took a blow when Graham Napier limped off having bowling only seven balls and added another self-inflicted one when Evans, on 14, was caught at point by Jesse Ryder only to be reprieved because Tait had overstepped.

Evans capitalised by thundering to 50 in a stand of 69 from 38 balls with Woakes, a late onslaught which ensured that Essex were left with a hefty target.

The Eagles soon lost Mark Pettini , caught at cover, and Ryder who clubbed 26 from 22 balls before lifting Boyd Rankin to mid-on.

They received an unexpected bonus from a rare off-day from Jeetan Patel, who went for 39 in his four overs, but Tom Westley (33 from 27 balls) and Ravi Bopara (32 from 27) both perished as they sought to address an escalating required rate, the latter bowled by Patel's final delivery.

The Eagles needed 69 from five overs, which became 66 from four after a superb over from Clarke. When he then held a fine catch at long on to dismiss Ten Doeschate in the next over, it was all over for the Eagles and the champions' defence of their trophy will continue into Finals Day.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:


Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again