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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Champions Birmingham seal derby victory

Birmingham 144 for 5 (D'Oliveira 2-21) Worcestershire 126 (Gordon 3-18, Clarke 3-26) by 18 runs
Scorecard

Reigning NatWest T20 Blast champions Birmingham recorded their first win in this year's competition with a 18-run derby triumph over Worcestershire at Edgbaston.

Put in on a slow pitch, the Bears made 144 for 5, a modest total but one they defended comfortably as the Rapids, playing their first game in this year's tournament, replied with only 126. The win continued Birmingham's happy home trend against their arch-rivals. It was their sixth win in seven T20 tussles between the teams at Edgbaston.

Birmingham's innings contained a string of small parts without a leading role as batsmen found it hard going. Brett D'Oliveira led the way in a disciplined collective bowling effort with figures of 4-0-21-2 and 19-year-old debutant Ed Barnard impressed with 4-0-29-0 as their tidy work forced mistakes as the batsmen tried to force the pace.

The most assertive knocks came at the beginning and end. Opener William Porterfield hit three sixes in a 21-ball 27 before missing with a big hit at Joe Leach. Jeetan Patel went in with his side struggling on 104 for 5 in the 17th over and hit cleanly for an unbeaten 23 from ten balls. Patel's unbroken partnership of 40 from 29 balls with Ateeq Javid lifted the Bears to a total which was decent, if by no means daunting.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore gave the Rapids' reply early momentum until Recordo Gordon, playing his first game of the season, came on for the fifth over and took wickets with his second and fourth balls. Kohler-Cadmore swatted a full toss to deep midwicket and Alex Gidman edged to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose and fell for a golden duck.

Barnard's debut innings ended in a slapstick run out with he and captain Daryl Mitchell meeting at the same end. Mitchell added 35 in six overs with Ross Whiteley but when he perished to Patel for 34, lifting a catch to deep midwicket, his team desperately needed some later-order heroics.

Ben Cox couldn't provide them, departing after a run out mix-up with Whiteley. The former Derbyshire player looked likeliest to smite the Rapids to victory, lifting Rikki Clarke for six and hitting four fours on his way to 33 from 29 balls but when he sought to repeat the blow off Clarke but found only Patel on the deep midwicket boundary, it was 99 for 8 and his team's hopes went with him.

Worcs 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st0DKH MitchellRK Oliver
2nd34DKH MitchellT Kohler-Cadmore
3rd1APR GidmanDKH Mitchell
4th12DKH MitchellEG Barnard
5th35DKH MitchellRA Whiteley
6th3RA WhiteleyOB Cox
7th13RA WhiteleyBL D'Oliveira
8th1RA WhiteleyJ Leach
9th18SMSM SenanayakeJ Leach
10th9SMSM SenanayakeJD Shantry