Birmingham Bears: 261-2 (Hain 112, Hose 88* and Yates 53) beat Notts Outlaws: 206 (Clarke 86, Moores 40 and Christian 33) by 55 runs.

Following on from a record-breaking Test Match can be a tough ask but, then again, Friday night T20s on the banks of the River Trent have always held a special place in the summer calendar.

So, what better way to welcome the onset of the warmest day of the year than with a short-format encounter under the Friday night lights?

The 12,433-strong Nottingham crowd had already been treated to a spectacle before a ball had been bowled, with soprano Lizzie Jones MBE providing the crescendo to the pre-match offering before Dan Christian led his team onto the field.

These two teams are used to facing off in high-scoring thrillers. This evening was to be no different. 

The propane fire units at the side of the pitch, as if there was a need for more heat on this particular day, were in heavy use across the initial knockings of the Bears innings.

Rob Yates, into the side for Paul Stirling, found the glass like Trent Bridge outfield to his liking on his way to a first half-century in the shortest format.

His dismissal, caught by Ben Duckett off Samit Patel, did little to stem the Bears’ momentum.

Sam Hain, a thorn in Outlaws’ sides in previous encounters at Trent Bridge, and Adam Hose scored with poise and precision during a 11.4-over period, in which they added 174 runs.

Hain brought up a 47-ball century, eventually finishing on 112 from just 52 deliveries, with Hose launching four maximums and a boundary in the final over to score 88* from 35.

The Bears analysis at the end of their 20 overs read 261/2, the highest T20 total in the history of the domestic game on these Isles.

With the hosts facing such an uphill task at the halfway stage, life needed breathing into the contest. 

Step forward, Joe Clarke.

Three boundaries, two maximums and a single later, Craig Miles’ first over had cost 25.

His partner-in-crime during the County Championship victory over Leicestershire this past week, Ben Duckett, joined in the fun, launching a six into the Fox Road flats.

As the mercury mercifully dipped below 30 degrees Celsius, all this meant that the Outlaws were ahead on Powerplay analysis; 80/2 plays 69/1.

As balls were lost into the stands with a similar regularity to England’s World record efforts in Amsterdam earlier in the day, Clarke and Tom Moores took the Outlaws to 128/2 at the halfway stage, 21 runs ahead of the Bears at the same stage.

Individually, Clarke had turned a 22-ball half century into a 45-ball 86 before he perished, caught at long-on searching for a sixth maximum of a swashbuckling innings.

Alas, the Outlaws were losing pace with the Bears’ double-digit run rate in their latter overs, and Luke Fletcher was last to go in a total of 206 all out.


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