T20 Blast: Birmingham gain revenge win over Worcestershire
|NatWest T20 Blast, Edgbaston|
|Birmingham Bears 176-5 (19.2 overs) beat Worcestershire 175-6 by five wickets|
Birmingham Bears captain Varun Chopra's 74 off 49 balls steered his team to a vital five-wicket T20 Blast North Group win over Worcestershire.
Chopra hit eight fours and two sixes as the Bears reached their target of 176 with four balls to spare, to keep their hopes of a quarter-final place alive.
He fell to the spin of Saeed Ajmal (3-17) just before victory was secured.
A maiden T20 half-century by Tom Kohler-Cadmore (51) was the highlight of Worcestershire's total of 175-6.
With two group games left, the Bears move up to fifth, a point shy of the top four finish needed to book a quarter-final place, two points adrift of Worcestershire.
Having comfortably seen off the Bears when the two sides last met at New Road three weeks before, Worcestershire again made a good start, Richard Oliver hitting the first ball of the match for four before being bowled by Rikki Clarke with the next delivery.
But Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell, who made 33 from 24 balls, allied with 19-year-old Kohler-Cadmore in rebuilding the innings.
When Kohler-Cadmore, who was dropped on 14, finally perished in the deep off Ateeq Javid, the visitors lost impetus.
Two wickets in an over from Jeetal Patel (2-17) checked their progress, but some lusty hitting from Ross Whitely (20 off 16 balls) and wicketkeeper Ben Cox (34 off 25 balls) gave their bowlers something to defend.
Chopra and William Porterfield, who made 36 from 20 deliveries, got the Bears off to a flying start from which they never really looked back.
Ajmal was again the pick of the Worcestershire attack on his final T20 appearance of 2014 for the county, taking his tally to 12 wickets in 10 matches at an economy rate of almost exactly six an over.