Birmingham 159 for 4 (Bell 47) beat Nottinghamshire 158 for 6 (S Patel 55, J Patel 4-22) by six wickets
Nottinghamshire seam bowler Luke Fletcher was struck on the head in a horrific incident at Edgbaston, with the NatWest T20 Blast match against Birmingham Bears suspended for half-an-hour while he received treatment.
The fast-bowler was taken to hospital in an ambulance after he suffered the injury in the fourth over of Birmingham's reply to Nottinghamshire's 158 for six. Play eventually resumed with Birmingham stealing a six-wicket victory with a single on the final ball when Notts missed a run-out chance - although concern over Fletcher oversahadowed the chase.
Fletcher's first ball of the night, at the start of the fourth over with the score 30 for 0, was driven ferociously straight back by Sam Hain and struck him on the head in his follow-through.
The umpire signalled instantly for medical assistance, and it was clear from the reaction of the players that they felt the incident was potentially very serious. Fletcher was concussed, but he did not lose consciousness and he was able to walk from the field aided by a physio with a towel over his head.
He was attended to by paramedics in the dressing-room, and was taken to a Nottingham hospital for further examination. His team-mate, Jake Ball, later tweeted a picture of Fletcher, wearing an oxygen mask but with his thumbs up, adding: "Horrible injury to @fletcherluke but looks like he's doing well off to hospital #legend"
— Jake Ball (@JakeBall) July 8, 2017
One of the most popular players in county cricket, Fletcher was given the warmest of ovations from the 9,000 crowd and, typically, waved in acknowledgement. But with the players visibly concerned, the decision was taken to temporarily halt the game.
He later tweeted from hospital that it was time for some paracetamol.
Notts Outlaws head coach Peter Moores said after the match: "Luke has obviously got concussion but the reports we're hearing back are that they think he's going to be fine and hopefully he will go home either tonight or tomorrow morning. It sounds good news at the moment and we're looking forward to catching up with him when he's back and hopefully OK.
"Warwickshire were very understanding and, more importantly, efficient. They had a doctor on site straight away and the paramedics here. Credit too to James Pipe, our physio, he is meticulous in all trauma-related stuff as is Warwickshire's physio, and they worked together straight away.
"It's nice to see that at any sporting venue, that everything is in place should something like that happen."
The increased threat to bowlers and umpires during a Twenty20 age in which power hitting has become the norm has led to some umpires considering protective headgear to guard against injury.
After half an hour, it was agreed to resume and the Notts players were warmly applauded back on to the field. They fought brilliantly to defend their below-par total and almost succeeded before ultimately dropping their second game in 24 hours to begin this year's campaign, but most thoughts were with Fletcher who lifted spirits with his thumbs-up signal to a camera from the back of the ambulance.
Put in, Notts had been troubled by the spin of Jeetan Patel (4-0-22-4) but recovered from 28 for three to total 158 thanks principally to Samit Patel's classy 55 and Steven Mullaney's 46.
The Bears' ploy to open the bowling with Patel paid off as he took three wickets in his first 11 balls; Michael Lumb brilliantly caught by William Porterfield at mid-wicket, and Alex Hales and Rikki Wessels, pouched at cow corner by Hain.
Patel then underpinned a recovery, adding 51 in 45 balls with Dan Christian (20, 27 balls) and 68 in 39 balls with Mullaney.
Birmingham started strongly as Ian Bell and Hain took 30 from three overs before the game was halted in light of Fletcher's injury. After the resumption, Hain soon sliced Harry Gurney to point and Porterfield ran himself out before Bell (47, 38 balls, five fours) lifted a reverse-sweep at Patel to Lumb at short third man.
Birmingham required 40 from the last five overs and Grant Elliott and Rikki Clarke took 15 off the first of them. Elliott's 38 (22 balls, four fours, one six) saw his side to the brink of a victory but Notts dug deep.
Five runs from the last over, bowled by Christian, came down to one from the last ball, from which Colin De Grandhomme and Clarke scrambled the relevant single. But Notts should have claimed a tie as a relay from extra cover was fumbled by Michael Lumb standing over the non-striker's stumps.