Derbyshire is clinched by Birmingham Bears

Derbyshire is clinched by Birmingham Bears

Derbyshire is clinched by Birmingham Bears
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Birmingham Bears held off a late Derbyshire Falcons charge to win by three runs in a dramatic Vitality Blast North Group match at Derby.

When Adam Hose hit 55 off 31 balls and Chris Benjamin hit an undefeated 43 off 18 balls, including five sixes, the Bears appeared to be on their way to a comfortable victory.

For the second night in a row, the Bears hammered 89 off the last five overs to reach 200, but the Falcons rallied back and came close to pulling off what would have been their largest T20 run chase.

Brooke Guest’s 54 from 34 balls almost put the game out of reach in a tense finish, but Craig Miles held his nerve as the Falcons finished on 197 for 8.

The Bears demolished Northamptonshire the previous night so it looked ominous for the Falcons when Paul Stirling took five boundaries from the first two overs.

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The Irishman pulled Sam Conners deep into the crowd in the fourth but when he tried to repeat the shot off the next ball, he holed out to deep midwicket.

Alex Davies ramped George Scrimshaw for 6 to take the Bears to 54 for 1 at the end of the powerplay but Jacob Bethell’s attempt to drive the fast bowler over the top landed in the hands of mid off.

Scrimshaw used the short ball well to stem the run flow and when Sam Hain was stumped stepping out to drive Mark Watt and Davies was caught behind cutting at Mattie McKiernan, the Bears had slipped to 89 for 4.

After McKiernan finished his spell, the Falcons looked like restricting the Bears to around 160 but Hose and Benjamin cut loose in the last five overs.

Watt went for 24 in the 16th and after Hose drove Kerr for six to reach 50 off 28 balls, Benjamin smashed him for two more maximums with another 24 coming from the 19th.

Conners was dragged to deep midwicket by Hose, but that brought in Carlos Brathwaite for a punishing cameo. Derbyshire were left needing to mount an implausible chase, and their hopes were harmed when Shan Masood drove Danny Briggs to mid-off in the third over.

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The Falcons were given hope by Leus du Plooy and Wayne Madsen, but when they fell in consecutive overs, the game looked up.

The Falcons required an improbable 112 off 10 overs but McKiernan and Guest raised the hopes of the home supporters by adding 48 from 26 balls with Brathwaite conceding 21 off the 16th over.

In the 18th over, Henry Brookes was dismissed for two head-high full tosses, but Brathwaite answered with a magnificent over to leave the Falcons requiring 18 off six balls.

Guest cut Miles to the point boundary and then drove him for six before a no ball altered the odds again, but Miles recovered admirably to see the Bears over the line after picking out Bethell at deep midwicket.

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