Falcons fall just short against Bears

Friday 17th June 2016
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire Falcons were beaten by Birmingham Bears in dramatic fashion, with the Bears securing a four-wicket victory from the final ball of a close-fought encounter.

The visitors needed to find 142 to win and a late glut of wickets by the Falcons bowlers slowed down the run chase to the point that scores were level with just one ball remaining. Ateeq Javid hit the final ball for four as the Bears grabbed a last-gasp victory.

Having been asked to bat first, Derbyshire managed to post 141-7 from their 20 overs, thanks largely to a partnership of 57 between Wayne Madsen and Hamish Rutherford who hit 38 and 33 respectively.

Five-time Ashes winner Ian Bell did most of the damage for the visitors in the chase, almost carrying hit bat to score 67 as the Bears got to their target of 142 with the final ball.

Two early wickets for the Bears, in the shape of Billy Godleman (4) and Chesney Hughes (7) in the first three overs, saw Derbyshire immediately ramp up the hunt for runs. Neil Broom (7) came in but was dismissed by the impressive Rikki Clarke (2-17) with Derbyshire at 27-3.

Rutherford and Madsen took next to no time in establishing the partnership that would form the bulk of the Falcons 141 runs.

After Rutherford was eventually trapped lbw for 33 by Jeetan Patel, Jimmy Neesham looked to pick up where his compatriot left off, scoring 15 including a well-driven six straight back over the bowler’s head.

Madsen, Neesham and Captain, Alex Hughes (10), were the next to go before the 20 overs were up; Hughes being run out by Luke Ronchi,

Shiv Thakor added useful late runs, hitting 20 not out, as the Falcons crept up to 141-7 to leave Birmingham needing 142 to win.

In reply, an opening stand between Bell and Sam Hain put Birmingham into a strong position, hitting 67 for the first wicket at a solid run-rate.

Bell would be the mainstay of the Bears’ innings, hitting 67 from 54 balls, but a number of cheap wickets fell around him to put Derbyshire back in with a shout.

Hain fell to Matt Critchley (1-31), whilst Laurie Evans went to Thakor (1-35) and Luke Ronchi went to skipper Hughes (1-21).

When Bell was removed by Andy Carter (1-30) in the penultimate over, the Bears were left needing 10 from the final over.

Aaron Thomason fell to Neesham with the second ball of the final over, before Chris Woakes was run out off the second-to-last ball as the scored were tied going into the last ball.

Javid drove the final ball for four to secure a four-wicket win for his side.

Click HERE to view scorecard.

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