T20 Blast: Birmingham Bears end Northamptonshire Steelbacks' 100% home record

Adam Hose
Adam Hose's half-century was his third in this season's T20 Blast

Adam Hose and Chris Benjamin shared an unbroken stand of 100 as Birmingham Bears beat Northamptonshire Steelbacks by six wickets in the T20 Blast.

Saif Zaib made 74 off 32 balls as the Steelbacks, who had won all five previous home games, totalled 211-6.

Despite losing early wickets, the Bears made a rapid start in reply with Alex Davies scoring 42 from only 18 balls.

Hose (63 off 44) and Benjamin (58 off 31) timed the chase perfectly as the Bears reached 213-4 from 18.5 overs

Victory would have moved the Steelbacks top of North Group, but they slip a place to fourth following their fourth defeat, with only two games remaining. The Bears climbed to second, one point behind leaders Lancashire Lightning.

The two sides are next in action on Friday, with Northants at home to Yorkshire Vikings and the Bears taking on Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston.

Having chosen to bat first, Northants again looked to Australian Chris Lynn to lay the foundation for a big total and he did not disappoint, putting on 72 in eight overs with Ben Curran (26) for the first wicket before the latter played on to Carlos Brathwaite.

Lynn reached 50 off 37 balls and when Zaib was dropped on the point boundary by Rob Yates on 12, it seemed a costly miss.

Benjamin then put down a chance offered by Lynn at square leg, but he departed for 59 when he sliced a drive to third man off spinner Jake Lintott, ending a stand of 58 with Zaib.

Lynn's innings took him to 443 runs, making him the joint-highest scorer in the competition with Somerset's Rilee Rossouw.

Zaib moved to 50 from just 24 balls with a boundary off Craig Miles and he batted on into the 17th over before holing out to Craig Miles at long-off, off Lintott's bowling, having hit three sixes and 10 fours.

Saif Zaib
Saif Zaib scored 92 off 58 balls against Derbyshire in the Steelbacks' previous game on Tuesday

The home side passed 200 for the fourth time in this season's competition nonetheless and even though Paul Stirling struck two sixes in the first over of the Bears' reply, they found themselves 44-3 in the fifth.

Davies added 69 with Hose, but after striking two successive sixes off Freddie Heldreich, he dragged the next ball onto his stumps, leaving the visitors 113-4 with one ball left in the 10th over.

Hose and Benjamin kept their heads, however, and each cleared the rope four times as they saw their side to a seventh win in 11 games, with Benjamin flicking the winning boundary down to fine leg from a Jimmy Neesham full toss.

Thursday fixtures

Blackpool: Lancashire Lightning v Durham (17:30)

Worcester: Worcestershire Rapids v Yorkshire Vikings (17:30)

Lord's: Middlesex v Essex Eagles (18:15)

Trent Bridge: Notts Outlaws v Derbyshire Falcons (18:30)

Hove: Sussex Sharks v Surrey (19:00)

Taunton: Somerset v Hampshire Hawks (19:05)

Friday fixtures

Riverside: Durham v Notts Outlaws (18:30)

Northampton: Northamptonshire Steelbacks v Yorkshire Vikings (18:30)

Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan v Somerset (18:30)

Bristol: Gloucestershire v Hampshire Hawks (18:30)

Derby: Derbyshire Falcons v Lancashire Lightning (19:00)

Chelmsford: Essex Eagles v Surrey (19:00)

Canterbury: Kent Spitfires v Sussex Sharks (19:00)

Edgbaston: Birmingham Bears v Worcestershire Rapids (19:05)

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