Dan Mousley and Danny Briggs put Lancashire in a spin

Dan Mousley celebrates a wicket

In front of an enthusiastic 11,243 spectators at Edgbaston, the Birmingham Bears extended their perfect record in the Vitality Blast and put an end to Lancashire Lightning’s with a convincing seven-wicket triumph.

After deciding to bat, Lightning lost all seven of their wickets for 36 runs in 35 balls, and they were eventually all out for 98. As Danny Briggs took four for 15, Dan Mousley three for 13, and Jake Lintott two for 24, they were spinning to oblivion. For the guests, only Steven Croft (22, 13 balls) passed the century mark.

The Bears had to respond quickly, but openers Alex Davies (51 not out, 39 balls, his first Blast fifty for the Bears), and Rob Yates (30, 24 balls), added an untroubled 50 by the seventh over to set up a winning walk. With 34 balls remaining, the Bears were able to reach a score of 99 for three.

“We didn’t really sense that this was going to be a game for the slow bowlers but we talk about being adaptable because so much depends on who can adapt quickest,”

Mousley said.

“Maxy got the early wicket and then we thought, ‘okay. it’s going to offer a bit of assistance to the spinners’ and we took advantage of that.

“I love bowling and playing away in the ILT20 last winter. I just learned as much as I could by bowling to some of the best players in the world. It made me realize that I am actually okay at it and I have brought that confidence back here.”

Josh Bohannon entered the Lightning lineup to start the batting after Phil Salt was ruled out due to a back spasm, however he passed away on the fourth delivery after being bowled through a mound towards Glenn Maxwell. 

Luke Wells, who had scored a game-winning 66 against Derbyshire Falcons on this field nine days earlier, was bowled out in the following over by Mousley’s outstanding return catch, which he grabbed centimeters from the ground.

Croft briefly sparked the innings with 18 runs off of just four balls from Henry Brookes, but the bowler got his comeuppance when Croft raised a sweep at Mousley when he was waiting at square leg to receive a catch. That was 62 for three, and after that the Lightning collapsed under the pressure of excellent spin bowling and outstanding fielding.

To bowl the threatening Liam Livingstone first ball back, Mousley shifted ends. Chris Benjamin made a painful slip catch to stop Colin de Grandhomme from hurting his former team. Rob Yates played a brilliant catch at extra cover to remove Luke Wood, while Mousley made a steepling catch from Daryl Mitchell at long off seem easy.

Briggs picked off the tail with three wickets in four deliveries, and Wood was the second of his four victims. Lightning also committed the unforgivable T20 offense of wasting 31 balls.

When given such a little objective. The Bears openers ended the game with a stand of 50 in just 39 balls after Yates gave himself the Blast luxury of a leave on the first pitch. Yates top-edged a sweep at Matt Parkinson to short fine leg, and Maxwell’s home debut knock produced only two runs from his first three deliveries before he failed to cut Hartley through the off side, but it was already too late.

With eight wickets in hand and 37 runs needed from 74 balls, Sam Hain had one of the less challenging equations he had ever encountered when he came to the crease. 

Wells’ third ball quickly bowled him, but as Davies easily reached his 16th Blast half-century and the captain guided his team to victory, most of the large crowd cheered. However, you got the impression that a good number of them would have preferred a more exciting match in the perfect Bank Holiday weather.
Glen Chapple, the head coach of Lancashire, was optimistic after three straight victories.

“We lost three wickets to very good catches and throw in a bit of bad luck and before you know it you’re six down. We’re not going to dwell on it, we’re just going to crack on.”