Big T20 Blast wins for Birmingham & Gloucestershire
There were comprehensive wins for Birmingham Bears and Gloucestershire over Leicestershire Foxes and Essex Eagles respectively in the NatWest T20 Blast today.
NatWest T20 Blast North Group
Birmingham Bears 186-4 beat Leicestershire Foxes 158-9 by 8 runs
Birmingham Bears put their loss in the West Midlands derby to Worcestershire Rapids on Friday night behind them to beat Leicestershire Foxes by 28 runs at Edgbaston.
Birmingham were asked to bat first by Leicestershire and openers Ian Bell (79 in 52 balls) and Sam Hain (57 in 35) put on 125 together to get the home side into an excellent position.
Once Cameron Delport (2-21) broke the partnership, they were pegged back a little before Rikki Clarke cracked a quickfire 24 not out in 15 balls to help Birmingham post 186 for four.
Clint McKay was outstanding once again, following up his fine spell against Lancashire with one for 16 in four overs.
Through Mark Cosgrove (42), Lewis Hill (29) and Mark Pettini (21), Leicestershire kept themselves in the hunt, needing 60 to win from the final 30 balls.
Farhaan Behardien failed to make the best advantage of being dropped by Sam Hain and a brilliant penultimate over delivered by Clarke all but sealed the deal for the Bears, when he conceded just four runs to leave Leicestershire needing 33 to win from the final over.
They got nowhere near, closing on 158 for nine with Clarke, Jeetan Patel and Oliver Hannon-Dalby all taking two wickets.
The win moves the Bears up to third in the table having started the day in fifth.
NatWest T20 Blast South Group
Gloucestershire 212-1 beat Essex Eagles 182-9 by 30 runs
Gloucestershire moved four points clear of Glamorgan in second with a comprehensive 30-run win over Essex as they continued their perfect start to the Cheltenham Festival.
Gloucestershire pair Michael Klinger and Ian Cockbain added 137 together for the unbroken second wicket in 11.2 overs to take the home side to a score of 212 for one batting first.
Klinger struck 95 in 57 balls and Cockbain 69 in 35 after Hamish Marshall had been the only man to be dismissed when he was caught and bowled by Ravi Bopara (1-38) for 43 in 28 deliveries.
Essex were quickly in trouble in reply and ended their powerplay on 46 for four. Daniel Lawrence hit 35 in 27 balls and Ashar Zaidi 22 in 13 but from 82 for five at the halfway stage, they had been left with too much to do.
Benny Howell returned three for 28 and Matt Taylor two for 25 as Gloucestershire wrapped up a second win over Essex in as many days.
© Cricket World 2016