Despite a career-best 72 from Chris Cooke, Glamorgan lost by six wickets against the Birmingham Bears in their Vitality Blast T20 match at Sophia Gardens. (writes Andrew Hignell)
The Welsh county, who named an unchanged line-up, opted to bat first after winning the toss so it was Billy Root who faced the bowling of Tim Bresnan when the contest began. However, Root departed in the second over as Olly Stone found the edge of his bat with his first delivery with Michael Burgess completing the regulation catch behind the stumps.
Andrew Balbirnie joined Dan Douthwaite, who biffed the day’s first four as he on-drove Stone before the Irishman punched Bresnan through point for four. But next ball Balbirnie pulled the former England all-rounder to deep square-leg where Adam Hose completed the catch. Chris Cooke duly on-drove his first delivery for four before pulling Henry Brookes for four. He found the ropes again as he square-cut Stone.
Douthwaite then lofted Bresnan over long-on for six but later in the over he miscued to mid-wicket attempting another lusty blow as Glamorgan ended the powerplays on 46-3. Kiran Carlson joined Cooke as the Bears switched to spin with Jeetan Patel and Jake Lintott. Carlson pulled Patel for four but was then bowled next ball by the veteran spinner as Marchant de Lange strode to the middle with his side on 61-4.
De Lange had a life as he was dropped at slip driving at Lintott with Cooke harpooning Patel for six over mid-wicket before de Lange hoisting him over square-leg for another maximum. But next over de Lange was caught at deep mid-wicket as he scythed another blow against the left-arm spin of Lintott. Callum Taylor began with a fierce cut against Brookes before scampering a series of singles with his captain until miscuing a pull against Stone and being caught st short fine-leg.
Graham Wagg joined Cooke as the hundred came up in the 16th over before Cooke completed his fifty from 47 balls. He celebrated by depositing a full toss from Patel high over mid-wicket for six. He then lofted Bresnan over fine-leg for six. Wagg then holed out at long-off with the total on 120. With Andrew Salter as his new partner, Cooke launched Stone over mid-wicket for another six but he departed to the first ball of the final over as Patel completed a good running catch at mid-on. Adam Hose then ran out Timm van der Gugten before Prem Sisodiya cover-drove the final ball for four as Glamorgan ended on 140-9.
Sisodiya then struck with his second delivery as Ed Pollock departed l.b.w. without a run on the board. Ian Bell was joined by Adam Hose as once again Andrew Salter shared the new ball. Hose opened his shoulders to loft Salter for a straight six before Bell drilled Sisodiya for four just out of the reach of Wagg. Hose then flicked van der Gugten for four to fine-leg before next ball being dropped at backward point. He then drove van der Gugten to mid-wicket for four before Bell carved Douthwaite to the point boundary for four.
Hose also cover drove both Douthwaite and van der Gugten for four as the Bears ended the powerplay on 46-1. Salter returned to the fray and was driven over long-off for six by Hose. But next over he was bowled by de Lange for 38 as Sam Hain joined Bell with 75 needed. Seven runs later Salter removed Bell as Root at deep mid-wicket pouched a good catch with Will Rhodes joining Hain following the departure of the veteran.
After a series of frenetic singles, Rhodes pulled Sisodiya for six as the Bears reached the 100-mark in the 15th over. He was then bowled by Douthwaite before Michael Burgess nurdled the all-rounder for four to maintain the chase.
With Wagg off the field and receiving treatment, van der Gugten and de Lange bowled the last block of overs with the equation becoming 30 from 24 balls. A series of singles saw this become 25 off 18 deliveries before Hain swatted a full toss from de Lange over square-leg for six. But only one run came from the next five balls as the Bears task became 18 from 12 balls. After a single to Hain, Burgess hoiked van der Gugten over mid-wicket for six with Hain then flicking the Dutchman for successive fours to square-leg before van der Gugten delivered a no ball to end the contest with seven balls remaining.