CRICKET: A SENSATIONAL debut innings from Adam Hose lifted Birmingham Bears to a five-wicket NatWestT20Blast victory over Lancashire Lightning at Edgbaston.
Lightning amassed 174 for eight thanks mainly to Jos Buttler whose unbeaten 80 from just 43 balls provided the only contribution beyond 20.
Measured at first, as wickets fell around him, Buttler paced his innings perfectly – climbing into the bowling late on.
But then Hose, making his debut after moving from Somerset on a three-year deal last week, smashed a dazzling, T20-best 76 from 43 balls with seven fours and five sixes to put his side on course for victory.
And after he perished, Grant Elliott saw his side over the line with just two balls to spare with an shrewd unbeaten 45.
Put in, Lightning soon lost Liam Livingstone (12) whose middle-stump was knocked out by Keith Barker.
Arron Lilley and Karl Brown each connected with a couple of big blows but reached only 18 and 16 respectively before falling to excellent outfield catches from Elliott and Aaron Thomason.
Dane Vilas became the fourth batsman to reach ten but when he and Buttler disagreed over a single, Colin De Grandhomme exacted full punishment with a direct hit.
Steven Croft became the fifth victim when he was caught by wicketkeeper Alex Mellor down the leg-side off De Grandhomme.
When De Grandhomme bowled Ryan McLaren, it was 121 for six and the Lightning needed some late impetus.
Buttler and Tom Bailey supplied it, both clearing the ropes off Barker in the 19th over before Buttler took 19 from the last over, from Rankin.
In reply, Birmingham lost both openers in the first 14 balls as Ed Pollock skied Bailey to backward point and Ian Bell nicked McLaren behind.
Hose and Sam Hain rallied with a stand of 51 in 34 balls before the latter (22) fell lbw to Matt Parkinson’s sixth ball.
Hose and Elliott had 50 on the board in the next 15 minutes though and the debutant celebrated with successive sixes off Steven Parry.
The pair added 69 in 44 balls before Hose charged and missed at Parkinson and Buttler completed an easy stumping.
Led by the skilful Parkinson, Lancashire fought hard to the end, but it came down to five from the last over and Elliott thumped McLaren over mid-off for four to seal the win to a huge roar from the big home crowd.
Warwickshire batsman Adam Hose said: “It was a nice way to get going and start my Warwickshire career.
“It was a fantastic performance from the guys, from the bowlers doing really well up front and then all the way through the middle overs.
“Then with the bat right from the start with Polly and Belly we showed great intent and I was just fortunate to carry that on.
“I suppose it is a dream start for me, really.
“I was trying not to think too much about my debut over the last couple of days but it has been a really nice way to start my career at Edgbaston.”
Elsewhere there was frustration on Friday night at Birmingham’s clash against Yorkshire was washed out without a ball bowled.
Yorkshire had been looking to complete a quickfire double over the Bears, who they beat comfortably at Headingley seven days earlier.
But the teams never got as far as tossing up as steady rain set in before the scheduled 7pm start and settled in for most of the night before the umpires finally called off the game at 8.30pm.
Picture: Manjit Narotra.