Man of the Match: Christopher Benjamin
Birmingham Bears’ challenge to keep hopes alive
Birmingham Bears to win
As Birmingham Bears takes on Northamptonshire Steelbacks in the last round of league games in the Vitality T20 Blast 2021, prayers would be on the lips of their fans. The side comes into this game after a win against the Worcestershire Rapids which has kept their hopes alive for a berth in the next round. Northamptonshire Steelbacks saw their last game against the Derbyshire Falcons cancelled due to a Covid scare.
The Northamptonshire Steelbacks have had a terrible run in the tournament and have managed just four wins. They cannot qualify for the next round and shall be aiming for a consolation win here. Birmingham Bears currently look in better form and had won the previous game between the two sides and shall be aiming for another big win.
Will Rhodes’ side has kept its hopes alive for a berth in the quarterfinals with a 17-run win against the Worcestershire Rapids in the last game. They are currently 5th on the points table and shall aim for a big win which can earn them an entry into the next round. They had won against the Steelbacks earlier in the season and shall look to repeat the same magic in this game.
Adam Hose and Ed Pollock went out cheaply in the last game and they would aim at providing the side with a promising start. Sam Hain played a match winning knock in the last game and would look to build partnerships with Kylie Mayers and Rhodes. They have good hitters down the order in Carlos Brathwaite and Robert Yates and runs would be expected from them here.
Danny Briggs bowled well in the last game and shall aim for early wickets along with Yates in this game. Craig Miles and Brathwaite bring lot of experience to the table, and they would have to do well and keep the run rate under control in the middle overs in this game. The side would also need tight spells from Rhodes and Jake Lintott in this game.
Will Rhodes (c), Ed Pollock, Adam Hose, Sam Hain, Kyle Mayers, Robert Yates, Carlos Brathwaite, Michael Burgess (wk), Danny Briggs, Craig Miles, Jake Lintott
Michael Burgess, Sam Hain, Adam Hose, Robert Yates, Christopher Benjamin, Danny Briggs, Craig Miles, Jake Lintott, Will Rhodes, Carlos Brathwaite, Kyle Mayers
Joshua Cobb’s side saw the last game against Durham Cricket being abandoned as many players from the Durham side have tested positive for Covid. The side has had a pretty ordinary season and have managed just four wins. As the side plays its last game, Cobb would look to finish with a win here.
Ben Curran and Ricardo Vasconcelos have been in poor form and the side would need these two players to fire at the top. In the middle order Rob Keogh, Mohammad Nabi and Cobb would need to play well in this game. They would also expect runs down the order from the likes of Saif Zaib and Wayne Parnell who have scored runs in the earlier games and have to do well here.
Mohammad Nabi and Cobb are experienced bowlers, and the side would be expecting a good show from them in this game. Wayne Parnell was expensive in the last game and a better show would be needed from him in this game. The likes of Tom Taylor, Graeme White and Freddie Heldreich would have to bowl tight spells for the side to win.
Joshua Cobb (c), Ben Curran, Ricardo Vasconcelos (wk), Mohammad Nabi, Rob Keogh, Wayne Parnell, Saif Zaib, Tom Taylor, Graeme White, Brandon Glover, Freddie Heldreich
Rob Keogh, Brandon Glover, Ricardo Vasconcelos, Tom Taylor, Josh Cobb, Freddie Heldreich, Mohammad Nabi, Saif Zaib, Graeme White, Emilio Gay, Ben Curran
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||23||0.10 mm.||1.43 k/h||From: WSW||75%|
|03h||23||0 mm.||1.2 k/h||From: S||83%|
|06h||22||0.13 mm.||1.39 k/h||From: SSW||91%|
|09h||21||0.80 mm.||1.32 k/h||From: SSW||99%|
|12h||21||3.46 mm.||1.25 k/h||From: SSW||97%|
|15h||23||0.82 mm.||2.49 k/h||From: SW||100%|
|18h||27||0 mm.||2.44 k/h||From: SW||100%|
|21h||28||0.24 mm.||2 k/h||From: SW||96%|
The skies over Birmingham would be relatively clear with odds clouds on July 18 and the batting conditions are expected to be good here. We have seen big scores being put up at this venue and the side that bats first in this game would be aiming for a score of 180 runs to feel safe here.
Fast bowlers have always enjoyed bowling at Edgbaston, Birmingham as they can extract good bounce. The larger dimensions of the ground also allow batsmen to score many twos and threes here. It is overall a good batting surface and spinners have enjoyed a good record as there is lot for them on this surface.
The last two games have seen the sides put up big scores on the board and defend it successfully. It is a good venue to put up a score on the board and defend it. The side that wins the toss here is likely to opt for batting first in this game.
Northamptonshire Steelbacks have had a very ordinary season and as they play the last game the side would need better show from the batsmen and bowlers in this game. Birmingham Bears on the other hand have made a strong comeback and they would be charged up to win this game and earn a place in the knockouts. Bears are a better team on paper and this would make them favorites in this game.
Birmingham Bears to win