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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Bell's quality sets up Bears' last-ball victory

Warwickshire 145 for 6 (Bell 67) beat Derbyshire 141 for 7 (Madsen 38) by four wickets
Scorecard

Ian Bell's excellent 67 steered the Birmingham Bears to a thrilling four wicket victory off the final ball of the NatWest Blast T20 match against the Derbyshire Falcons at Derby.

The Bears appeared to be coasting in pursuit of the Falcons 141 for 7 when Bell was leading the chase but his dismissal in the 19th over left the game in the balance and it needed a four from Ateeq Javid off the last ball to deny the home side.

Derbyshire's new head coach John Sadler, whose appointment for the rest of the season was confirmed before the game, said: "It's disappointing but that's T20 cricket and we did well to get back in the game."

Former Derbyshire captain Rikki Clarke had taken 2 for 17 off four overs as the Falcons struggled in the first part of their innings before Wayne Madsen with 38 from 34 balls and some late blows from Shiv Thakor took them to a challenging score on a slow pitch.

The Falcons innings began with Clarke striking Billy Godleman on the helmet with the first ball before the opener pulled Oliver Hannon-Dolby to deep midwicket.

Chesney Hughes pulled Clarke for six but two balls later drove low to mid off where Bell took a good catch and Clarke struck again when Neil Broom top-edged a pull to cover in the fifth over.

The accuracy of the Bears attack restricted the Falcons to 58 for 3 at the halfway point and Madsen responded by lifting Jetan Patel over midwicket for six before pulling Mark Adair just past the diving Chris Woakes for four.

Madsen dispatched another short ball from Patel for six but Hamish Rutherford was lbw in the same over for 33 from 31 balls when he tried to work the off-spinner behind square.

Adair ended Madsen's innings when a top-edged pull landed in the gloves of Luke Ronchi and although Jimmy Neesham drove the next ball high into the stands, he edged a drive in the next over and was well caught by Ronchi diving low to his left.

Thakor gave the innings a late flourish by pulling Hannon-Dolby and Woakes for sixes in an unbeaten 20 from 13 balls as 26 came from the last two overs to give the Falcons a respectable total.

But Bell and Sam Hain gave the Bears an excellent start by taking 44 from the first five overs with Bell taking three fours off consecutive balls from Thakor.

Bell drove Matt Critchley over long on for six but the leg-spinner struck three balls later when Hain sliced a drive to cover although after 10 overs, the Bears were well placed at 73 for 1.

Alex Hughes should have removed Bell on 42 but Broom at deep midwicket spilled the catch diving forward and he completed his 50 from 39 balls before Laurie Evans became the latest batsman to top-edge a pull.

Bell drove Andy Carter for six but Ronchi drove Alex Hughes to long off in the 18th over and Bell holed out to long on in the next to give the Falcons a chance of victory with the Bears needing

Aaron Thomason scooped Neesham to square leg and although the next ball shot through for four byes, Woakes was run out going for a second off the penultimate ball but Javid's drive beat the bowler's despairing dive to clinch victory.

Warwickshire 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st67IR BellSR Hain
2nd32IR BellLJ Evans
3rd23IR BellL Ronchi
4th5IR BellAD Thomason
5th8CR WoakesAD Thomason
6th6R ClarkeCR Woakes
7th4R ClarkeA Javid