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Bears come out on top at Taunton

Birmingham Bears overcame Somerset and the weather to claim a four-run (D/L) win in the Vitality Blast Central Group at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

The match was interrupted for an hour and three-quarters by rain, which set in with the Bears 85 for four from 11 overs. When play became possible again at 9pm, the umpires ruled that it would be a 12-over match.

Birmingham added 22 in the final over of their innings, Sam Hain finishing 55 not out in a total of 107 for four, and Somerset were set a revised target of 125 to win under DLS.

Somerset just missed out, making 120 for seven, Tom Lammonby top-scoring with 43 off 20 balls.

Somerset skipper Lewis Gregory struck a double blow for his side in the second over of the match to reduce the Bears to two for two.

First he took a return catch to dismiss Ian Bell for a duck off a leading edge and two balls later had former team-mate Adam Hose caught behind attempting to pull a short ball, also without scoring.

Ed Pollock responded by pulling the first six of the game off Ollie Sale and cleared the ropes again in Gregory’s next over.

Pollock was looking dangerous when trying one big shot too many off Josh Davey in the fifth over, a thick edge carrying all the way to James Hildreth at third man.

The opener departed for 20, but soon Hain was taking up the attack, despite being hit on the grille by a short ball from Lammonby when on 17.

Having already claimed a maximum off Sale, Hain clubbed Lammonby over mid-wicket for another six to bring up a half-century stand with Will Rhodes.

The pair had added 53 in 6.3 overs when Rhodes was bowled by Lammonby looking to open the face of the bat. Only two more deliveries were bowled before the rain set in.

After the break, Warwickshire’s one remaining over of batting saw Hain hit two fours and two sixes off Ollie Sale to reach a 31-ball half-century.

Babar Azam posted notice of Somerset’s intent by pulling the first delivery of their innings from Tim Bresnan for six. However, two balls later the veteran seamer took revenge, having the opener caught behind attempting to cut.

James Hildreth arrived to hit two quick boundaries, but the first ball of the second over from Olly Stone saw Steve Davies miscue a catch to mid-on.

Hildreth replied with a square cut four and an upper cut six as the over ended with Somerset 28 for two. Tom Abell was then caught at cover off Henry Brookes and worse was to follow for the hosts in the fourth over, bowled by Jeetan Patel.

Hildreth responded to a call for a quick single but failed to beat Bresnan’s throw to the bowler’s end. The batsman pulled up clutching a hamstring and had to be helped from the field.

Lewis Gregory was given a life on five, with the score 44 for four, when Michael Burgess missed a stumping chance off Jake Lintott. But Eddie Byrom holed out to long-on off Brookes to make it 50 for five and Gregory quickly followed, lbw to Lintott.

However, Lammonby and Roelof van der Merwe (25) swung lustily in the closing overs to get Somerset right back in to the match, but had been left too much to do. Twenty-year-old left-hander Lammonby took the game down to the wire with some savage blows, but couldn’t quite turn the tables.

After the game Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “There were things we got wrong in the game, including being too frantic with our batting early on.

“We will assess James Hildreth’s injury tomorrow. My gut feeling is that it is a hamstring strain, rather than a tear, but it is too early to say when we will see him play again.”

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