Sports Editor Oscar Frost reports on Birmingham Bears’ routing of Lancashire Lightning in the Vitality Blast

Written by Oscar Frost
Hi! I'm Oscar, and I'm one of your deputy editors for the coming year. I was also a sports editor for two years, and a writer for a year before that.
Images by Toby Fenton

The Birmingham Bears routed the Lancashire Lightning to continue their perfect start to the Vitality Blast season. The seven wicket victory brings them to the top of the Vitality Blast table. Billed as a clash between two unbeaten sides, the Bears comfortably beat a Lancashire outfit that lacked finesse throughout the match. 

All-out for 98, Lancashire were dismantled by the Bears’ bowling attack. The Bears opted for a ‘spin to win’ approach, which the Lancashire batters had no answer for. This made winning a slim possibility for the visitors. 

Danny Briggs was a jewel in the crown that was the Bears’ bowling attack. Taking four wickets for 15 runs in 3.4 overs, Lancashire simply had no answer for his bowling. He took three of these wickets in his last over, tearing through the tail end with ease.

Another star of the show was Dan Mousley, who ended up with three wickets for just 13 runs from his three overs. These were important dismissals, too, including the captain Liam Liingstone for just 12 runs. 

Put simply, the Bears’ spinners were nigh-on unplayable throughout the inning. 

The Bears’ spinners were nigh-on unplayable throughout the inning

At 68-6 just after the halfway mark, it was a real uphill climb for the visitors to get any kind of total on the board. Livingstone and the two overseas players in Daryl Mitchell and Colin de Grandhomme were dismissed for 31 runs.

This bowling performance is especially impressive given the limited availability of the Birmingham players. Hasan Ali and Chris Woakes were both unavailable for this fixture, so the fact that the others stepped up was welcome for the home side.

The Bears were reasonably handy with the bat, chasing down the small total with relative ease. Rob Yates and Alex Davies put the match pretty much beyond doubt when they combined for 50 runs to start the innings.

Davies was able to push on and score a hefty 51 runs from 39 balls, which essentially secured the win in the context of the match. The captain will be glad of some runs, hopefully kick-starting a solid run for him at the top of the order.

The Lancashire bowling attack was not quite as uninspiring as the batting. They were able to dismiss Sam Hain, who lost his wicket for the first time in the Vitality Blast this year. 

The Bears will travel to Northamptonshire next, who are yet to score a point in the Vitality Blast this season. 

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