CRICKET - Bethell stars as Birmingham Bears gear up for derby with dominant win against Northants in T20 Blast - The Stratford Observer

CRICKET - Bethell stars as Birmingham Bears gear up for derby with dominant win against Northants in T20 Blast

Aaron Sutcliffe 21st Jun, 2024 Updated: 21st Jun, 2024   0

JACOB Bethell smashed 56 runs from just 16 balls as Birmingham Bears secured a dominant 90-run win against Northants in the T20 Blast.

Bethell hit seven maximums and three fours in a scintillating knock as the Bears posted a huge 219-4 from their 20 overs at Edgbaston.

And the 20-year-old also took two wickets as Birmingham restricted Northants to 129-9 to claim an emphatic victory.

The result means the Bears sit second in the T20 Blast North Group standings, level on points with leaders Lancashire Lightning with a game in-hand.

Birmingham made a fast start as openers Ed Barnard (48) and Alex Davies (36) put on 80 runs for the first wicket before the latter slogged Ravi Bopara (2-21) to deep mid-wicket just shy of a half-century.

Northants struck again the following over as Davies chipped Sikandar Raza (1-40) to mid-wicket before Sam Hain (13) hammered a return catch to Bopara.

The Bears continued to punish Northants however, as Dan Mousley (43) hit seven fours before slog-sweeping Freddie (1-31) to Raza on the mid-wicket fence.

This brought Bethell to the crease as he produced a 15-ball half-century – the quickest ever for the Bears in the Blast.

Bethell, alongside Chris Benjamin (16), scored 92 runs in the final five overs to pass the 200-run mark with ease.

Needing to score runs quickly, Northants went for broke and paid the price with David Willey (8) superbly caught by Barnard at extra cover off Richard Gleeson (2-2) who also caught and bowled George Bartlett (1) in the same over.

And Craig Miles (1-12) accounted for Matthew Breetzke (9) to leave Northants in trouble on 20-3 in the third over.

Things went from bad to worse for the Steelbacks in the sixth over as George Garton (2-23) claimed the wickets of Raza (13) and Saif Zaib (0) in successive balls.

And a superb catch from Miles inches inside the mid-wicket rope, off the bowling of Bethell (2-18), saw Lewis McManus (9) depart.

Veteran Bopara (34) top scored for Northants before he was stumped by Davies off the bowling of Jake Lintott (1-22) while Danny Briggs (1-20) claimed the wicket of Justin Broad (8).

Both Heldreich and Raphael Weatherall finished on 21 not out, after Davies stumped Ben Sanderson (1) from Bethell’s bowling, as the Bears cruised to a comfortable win.

Birmingham are next in action against local rivals Worcestershire Rapids on Friday, June 21 with the game to begin at 5.30pm at New Road.

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