Despite Timm van der Gugten taking 3/24 and making an unbeaten 34, the Birmingham Bears beat Glamorgan by 13 runs in their Vitality Blast T20 contest at Edgbaston. (writes Andrew Hignell)
David Lloyd, the Club’s vice-captain, made his first appearance of the summer having fully recovered from a broken foot sustained during a pre-season game at Cardiff in late July. Lloyd replaced Dan Douthwaite in a Glamorgan team which also saw Timm van der Gugten return instead of Graham Wagg from the line-up that lost their most recent game in the T20 competition against the Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Edgbaston on 3rd September.
Ed Pollock and Dom Sibley opened the batting for the Bears as Prem Sisodiya opened the bowling and with his fourth delivery the young spinner removed the latter who got a leading edge to an attempted drive but only succeeded in tamely chipping the ball back to the bowler. Andrew Salter delivered the first over at the Pavilion End and was swept for four by Adam Hose before nearly holing out to Ruaidhri Smith at mid-off as the Bears batsmen blasted a second boundary.
Hose then off-drove Sisodiya for four before Pollock clipped Smith over short fine-leg followed by an on-drive later in the over for another boundary. But next over, he edged a delivery from van der Gugten into Cooke’s gloves as the Bears lost their second wicket on 29. Sam Hain was the new batsman but three runs later he was trapped leg before by Smith.
Will Rhodes began with a clipped four to fine-leg before Hose swatted Smith to mid-wicket as the Bears ended the powerplay on 41-3. Rhodes also clattered Marchant de Lange through point for four followed next ball by a booming off-drive to the ropes. But Salter returned and removed Hose, courtesy of a full toss and a comfortable catch at long-off by Smith with the Bears on 55-4.
With Michael Burgess as his new partner, Rhodes responded by flicking Sisodiya to the short boundary at fine-leg before Burgess lofted Salter through Callum Taylor’s hands at mid-wicket for four. Another boundary followed next ball by a nurdle to the third man ropes but Taylor atoned for his miss earlier in the over as Burgess skied the off-spinner straight to the youngster.
Next over, Sisodiya’s clever flight bamboozled Tim Bresnan who had his stumps re-arranged by the left-arm twirler with the Bears sliding further to 72-6. Rhodes responded by straight-driving Salter for four before harpooning him for six over wide long-on. Henry Brookes upper-cut de Lange to third man for four before Rhodes clipped van der Gugten to mid-wicket for four.
Brookes also off-drove van der Gugten for four before next over Rhodes was run out attempting a second run to the Dutchman at long-on with his side on 107-7 in the 15th over. Next over Brookes skied a catch to long-on where Owen Morgan took a sliding catch to pouch the ball as van der Gugten claimed another wicket. Jake Lintott then flicked Smith to the fine-leg ropes before scampering some singles with Ollie Stone, but on 125 Lintott spliced a reverse-pull against van der Gugten into Chris Cooke’s gloves. Stone then flayed Smith over extra-cover for six in the final over before clattering the final ball through the covers for four as the Bears ended on 142-9.
Lloyd and Nick Selman began Glamorgan’s reply as Bresnan opened the bowling with the latter on-driving the Yorkshireman for four before Lloyd smashed Stone over point for six followed by a four through extra-cover. But with the total on 21 in the third over Selman skewed a drive against Bresnan and was caught at point by Stone. Andrew Balbirnie joined Lloyd who pulled Bresnan for his second six before on-driving another delivery from the all-rounder to short mid-wicket where Sibley took the low catch. 29-2 saw the arrival of Cooke and the introduction of Patel’s nagging spin, with the visiting captain having a life as he was dropped by Hose at deep square-leg. He celebrated his good fortune by driving Patel through extra-cover for four before pulling Bresnan for another boundary, but later in Bresnan’s over he drove a ball into the hands of mid-off.
47-3 saw the arrival of de Lange but he only lasted three balls as he clubbed a ball from Lintott straight back to the wrist spinner. Morgan joined Balbirnie who continued to work the ball around for singles before swatting Brookes for four through mid-wicket followed later in the over by a six in the same direction as the target became 74 off 54 balls. Balbirnie then unfurled his favourite sweep stroke against Patel to collect another four, but Stone returned and removed Morgan who skied a catch to Hose at mid-wicket.
63 were still required from 42 as Balbirnie swept Lintott to Stone at fine-leg before three balls later the spinner bowled Taylor as the Welsh county slipped to 82-7 after 14 overs. One run later Stone yorked Smith. Van der Gugten defiantly clubbed Stone to mid-wicket for four with the equation becoming 54 off 30 balls as the Dutchman was dropped by Sibley at deep extra cover. The Bears attack kept their discipline as the boundaries dried up as 47 off 18 balls became 43 off 13 before van der Gugten pulled Patel’s last ball for six.
Salter then inside-edged Stone to fine-leg for four with 33 required from 11 balls before a series of one’s and two’s left the ninth wicket pair needing 28 off the final over from Brookes. After a single by Salter, the Dutchman drilled Brookes for a straight six and a four to fine-leg, but there were no further boundaries as Glamorgan ended 14 runs short of their target.