Notts Outlaws complete double over Birmingham Bears to go second in Vitality Blast group

Joe Clarke in one-day action.'(Photo by Philip Brown)
Joe Clarke in one-day action.'(Photo by Philip Brown)

Nottinghamshire Outlaws moved to second place in the Vitality Blast T20 table after another commanding victory over Birmingham Bears.

Outlaws won a rain-affected match at Edgbaston by 28 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Nottinghamshire CCC 2019, Joe Clarke

Nottinghamshire CCC 2019, Joe Clarke

Last week, they beat Birmingham at Trent Bridge and there only ever looked like being one winner in the West Midlands.

Nottingham are now four points behind Lancashire Lightning in the North Group.

Outlaws restricted Birmingham to just 119 for nine in a sluggish innings that produced four fours and no sixes.

And opener Joe Clarke led the way in reply with an unbeaten 47 as Nottinghamshire reached 86 for two after only 11 overs before rain forced the game to be abandoned.

The Bears had no answer to the Outlaws attack with pace bowler Luke Wood the pick with figures of three for 24 - including a wicket from the final ball of his first over of the night.

That was Wood’s second first over scalp in successive games and set the tone for what was to come.

Spinners Matt Carter and Imad Wasim claimed two victims apiece in key spell as Birmingham struggled for runs.

Dom Sibley provided some signs of recovery for Bears with a 23-ball innings of 25 - including four boundaries - before he fell to Wasim when Carter caught him at short third man to reduce Bears to 35-2.

And the introduction of Carter and Pakistani all-rounder Wasim had Birmingham tied in knots.

Even the threatening rain clouds could not put an end to the Bears’ misery as their innings was only interrupted when weather forced the players off for a 12-minute break.

Only two Bears players made it into single figures with Outlaws calling the shots.

But Sam Hain flew the flag for Bears before cruelly falling one short of his half century.

Hain departed when Birmingham captain Jeetan Patel drove off the bowling of Harry Gurney and managed to deflect the ball on to the stumps. That saw Hain dismissed for 49 from 47 balls.

Wood finished as he had started and took the ninth wicket - Oliver Hannon-Dalby - for one.

In reply, Outlaws cut loose in the third over with Clarke hitting 24 runs including two sixes and three fours - and failing to score from the other delivery.

Nottinghamshire raced to 48 without loss after four overs.

But, with more rain falling, Outlaws lost their first wicket when Hannon-Dalby had Alex Hales caught behind for 11 in his first bowling spell.

Outlaws made quick progress towards their target despite losing a second wicket with the score on 80 when Ben Duckett was bowled by Patel for 16.

But the rain became too much and the players were forced off before an Outlaws victory was confirmed.

TURNING POINT: Outlaws did not look back after Birmingham’s Dom Sibley was dismissed for 25 after threatening a Bears recovery at 31-1 and wickets tumbled steadily after that.

UNSUNG HERO: Matt Carter, the Outlaws spinner was introduced to the attack and took two wickets in the space of two overs to chip away at the Birmingham batting and return figures of 2 for 22 - plus a catch.

SHOT/DELIVERY OF THE MATCH: When Clarke produced first six of the match in the third over of the Outlaws innings as he lifted Henry Brookes’ first delivery over the square leg boundary.

WHAT’S NEXT: Birmingham Bears host Lancashire Lighting on Sunday afternoon (2.30pm); Nottinghamshire Outlaws are away to Durham on Sunday, 2.30pm