Two from two as Steelbacks brush Bears aside

A second Friday evening outing and a second Friends Life t20 victory.

By Alec Swann
Friday, 5th July 2013, 10:22 pm
Muhammad Azharullah celebrates after taking the wicket of Varun Chopra
Muhammad Azharullah celebrates after taking the wicket of Varun Chopra

The Steelbacks’ bubble is showing no sign of bursting after they picked up a comfortable 27-run triumph over the Warwickshire Bears.

Once again it came about as a result of a professional all-round performance and they will go into Sunday’s clash with Somerset in an excellent frame of mind.

Given the emphatic nature of their performance, and victory, last week it was a no-brainer that Alex Wakely would choose to bat when Varun Chopra called incorrectly.

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On a decent looking batting surface, the same one as used seven days previous, a good start was made by Kyle Coetzer and Richard Levi.

Fifty-five in the six powerplay overs represents a solid effort in the twenty-over format and it provided the good crowd with a first proper look at Levi.

It would be safe to say that kids shouldn’t copy his uncluttered style - swing hard and hit harder - but it can be hugely effective and a handful of bottom-handed clubs helped to lay the foundations for a late assault.

Coetzer, by contrast, went about continuing his fine form, he made a Twenty20 career best of 71, in relatively sedate fashion as Cameron White played the role of the aggressor at the other end.

T20 Steelbacks V Warks Bears

The Australian departed a couple of deliveries after launching the tidy Jeetan Patel over the old scoreboard and his dismissal enabled the visitors to apply some sort of brake to the scoring in the second half of the innings.

A total of 82-1 at the halfway point could have been transformed into a really substantial score but Patel and Stefan Piolet halted the hosts’ progress, Coetzer’s inability to find the boundary in the latter stages being indicative of this, to the extent that they closed on 161-2 which was about par for the course.

The Bears were going nicely in their reply before two wickets in as many overs, Darren Maddy and Chopra both being cleaned up hacking across the line, spoiled their work to some degree.

Two new batsmen at the crease and the need to get on with it is generally a good time to get spin into the attack and as the boundaries dried up the odds improved in the hosts’ favour.

T20 Steelbacks V Warks Bears

Graeme White put Laurie Evans out of his misery, his half a dozen occupying a whopping 15 deliveries, and all his stint had achieved was to make the rest of the order’s task a particularly difficult one.

Rikki Clarke is one player who is capable of turning an unpromising position into the opposite but a good tumbling catch by Coetzer at deep cover saw him off before he could get into his stride.

When Clarke went the equation read 96 from 52 balls which is not an impossible task but pretty close to it and although Ateeq Javid batted spiritedly, it was nothing more than a consolation.