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Bears prevail despite Maxwell's 79

Bears prevail despite Maxwell's 79

Glenn Maxwell's 39-ball knock not enough as Birmingham come up victorious at Edgbaston

Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell blasted 79 off just 39 balls, but Lancashire Lightning were handed their first Vitality Blast defeat of the season at the hands of Birmingham Bears.

Maxwell's knock handed Lancashire a shot at victory after the loss of top order wickets in the powerplay in pursuit of 180 to win.

Adam Hose starred with the bat for Bears - hitting a mighty seven sixes in an innings of 65 from just 34 balls.

But, after losing their first three wickets for 28, Lightning staged a superb recovery with Maxwell and Keaton Jennings putting together a century stand which threatened to earn Lancashire an impressive victory.

Maxwell’s dismissal for 79 - when he was bowled by Will Rhodes - brought an end to Lightning’s hopes and when Jennings fell to Rhodes in the final for 35, it sealed a first defeat in nine Vitality Blast matches for Glen Chapple's side.

Dom Sibley and Sam Hain staged an opening stand of 53 to provide the base for their victory as the Bears produced an improved batting
display.

They passed the 50 mark in the powerplay, but it was leg spinner Matt Parkinson who claimed the first wicket of the day when he had Hain stumped after making 21, a beautiful delivery which tempted the batsman down the pitch before beating him in turn. Wicketkeeper Dane Vilas made no mistake behind the stumps.

In came man of the match, Hose whose innings was to prove crucial. He struck Liam Livingstone for two sixes in the eleventh over and the Bears passed the 100 mark in the 12th over before Sibley reached 50 off 38 balls.

But Hose had his eyes on sixes and he drove Glenn Maxwell to bring up the half century partnership with Sibley.

Parkinson then tempted Sibley into a shot which saw him caught by Steven Croft on the long-on boundary, signalling a wobble for Bears with Rhodes falling to Livingstone for a duck after facing only two balls.

But Hose put them back on track and brought up his half century with a well placed four - the only one of his innings - and followed it up with two successive sixes.

Parkinson brought an end to Hose’s innings with the first ball of his return to the Lightning attack, marking another fine effort from the leg-spinner in taking 3/23.

Livingstone slammed the brakes on in the final over with two wickets in successive balls, leaving the hosts with a total of 179 which may have looked about par on a pitch which had a very short leg-side boundary.

In reply, Lightning were reduced to 28 for three by the sixth over but then Maxwell and Jennings steadied the innings in style.

Maxwell was the dominant batsman and he reached 50 with his sixth four of the day after facing 28 balls.

Maxwell then brought up a nine-over century stand when he pulled Oliver Hannon-Dalby for a six over square leg in an over that produced 22 runs.

But then Rhodes produced the wicket that Bears wanted in the 16th over when he bowled Maxwell with Lightning on 135 for four - still 45 runs short of their target.

Maxwell’s innings came off 39 balls and included eight fours and four sixes. But Bears claimed quick wickets after that and eventually finished 15 runs in surplus.

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