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Pollock's first-over explosion sinks Yorkshire

Ed Pollock gave Birmingham a flying start Getty Images

Birmingham 158 for 2 (Hose 51*, Bell 50, Pollock 39) beat Yorkshire 157 for 7 (Ballance 79, Hannon-Dalby 3-37) by eight wickets
Scorecard

Skilful spin bowling and explosive batting powered Birmingham Bears to an eight-wicket win over Yorkshire Vikings in the Vitality Blast North group at Edgbaston.

Yorkshire totalled 157 for 7 thanks principally to Gary Ballance's high-class 79 (49 balls, six fours, four sixes). But only Ballance batted with freedom against an attack in which the spinners starred with Jeetan Patel taking 4-1-23-0 and the recalled Dominic Sibley 4-0-25-1.

If the total looked slightly below par, it appeared even more so after Ed Pollock took 26 off an opening foray from Matt Fisher that left Birmingham 33 for 0 after one over. Pollock's 14-ball 39 (five fours, three sixes) laid the platform on which Ian Bell and Adam Hose both made half-centuries as they built with an unbroken stand of 83 in 55 balls. Victory arrived with 25 balls to spare.

Warwickshire coach Jim Troughton said: "I actually feel like a fan watching our guys bat at the moment. Ed Pollock has got the highest strike-rate in the world now for someone who has scored over 300 runs in T20 cricket. In that first over today he just killed it and that's what he has done pretty much every innings. Polly takes games away from teams in the Powerplay and he did that today."

Jack Brooks, Fisher's Yorkshire fast-bowling team-mate, said: "The way they came out they had put the game to bed almost before the innings got going. We've told Matt that in Twenty20 cricket you get freak overs sometimes and some really good bowlers have gone for more than he did in that over. Stuart Broad went for 36 once. We said not to get too down about it and laugh it off because we all know what a good cricketer he is."

Put in, Yorkshire slumped to 28 for 3 in the fifth over. Adam Lyth fell to the second ball of the innings, lbw to Henry Brookes, Tom Kohler-Cadmore lifted Olly Hannon-Dalby to deep square leg and Harry Brook sent up a skier off Brookes.

Ballance and Jonny Tattersall added 43 from 36 balls before the latter played on to Sibley. As the spinners bowled tightly, Patel, on his 109th T20 appearance for the Bears, delivered his first T20 maiden for the club.

Jack Leaning played on to Elliott but Ballance completed a superb half-century from 37 balls including two sixes, both 'touched over the bar' by fielders.

Brookes' well-judged boundary catch removed Tim Bresnan off Hannon-Dalby but Ballance and Matt Fisher (17 not out from six balls) thrashed 43 from the last three overs to ensure a competitive total.

Fisher's hitting had given his side late impetus but the 20-year-old then endured a nightmare opening over which included a five-wides, a no ball and two sixes and two fours from Pollock. When the opener departed to a boundary catch off Steve Patterson in the fourth over, his onslaught had already taken his side past 50.

Sam Hain soon fell to a fine catch by Bresnan at long leg but if there was a sliver of hope for the Vikings it was quickly snuffed out as Bell and as Hose raised a half-century stand in 33 balls. Hose lifted Azeem Rafiq over long-on for six to take the total past 100 in the tenth over and, in front of a 10,395 crowd, the Bears cruised to their second eight-wicket victory in three games in the competition this season.