CRICKET: ED Pollock, Dom Sibley, and Adam Hose all starred with the bat as Birmingham Bears edged into the quarter finals of the Natwest T20 Blast after defeating Lancashire by two wickets.
The Bears cut it fine though, reaching their target of 164 with only two balls to spare at Old Trafford.
Chasing their target on a used pitch, left-handed opener Pollock smashed 49 off 24 balls, including four sixes, to open the innings.
New Bears signings Sibley and Hose then shared 84 in ten overs for the second wicket to advance from 61/1 in the sixth before the Bears slipped from 145/1 in the 16th to 160/8 after 19.
Despite losing seven wickets in 23 balls, Olly Stone hit the winning runs with four needed off the last over.
For Lancashire, who have failed to qualify for the last eight since winning the Blast in 2015, they had to win and hope other results went their way to qualify.
The Bears are now targeting their second title in four years.
Bears’ Olly Stone said after the game: “We made it difficult for ourselves.
“Halfway into our innings we thought it would have been easier than that, but it’s nice to get over the line.
“It was just about hitting strong shots without taking risks.
“When the field was up and the ball was up there, you just have to chance your arm.
“I was happy to close us out like I did, especially not bowling so well at the end last game.
“Pollock, Hose, and Sibley have batted well throughout the tournament.
2To get us off to the start that Polly did was great.
“For Sibbers and Hosey to put that partnership in, it made the game easier than it should have been.”
Bears will now face Surrey at The Oval on Friday night in the Quarter Final.
With a place at Finals Day on the line, Stone is hopeful the Bears can turn over the capital side.
He said: “We’ll go down there and hopefully turn them over.
“Then you never know. Three more wins and we win the trophy.”
Picture: Manjit Narotra.