Adam Hose, Chris Benjamin sack Birmingham Bears past Northamptonshire Steelbacks in Vitality Blast | Cricket News

Adam Hose of Birmingham Bears

Adam Hose of Birmingham Bears

Adam Hose and Chris Benjamin slammed half a century ago as Birmingham Bears cemented the top of the Vitality Blast North Group with victory in a high-scoring encounter against Northamptonshire Steelbacks.

Chasing 212, Hose starred with 63 from 44 balls, while Benjamin was the finisher with an enthralling 58 from 31 deliveries, after Alex Davies thrashed 42 from 18.

Previously Chris Lynn (59) continued his ludicrous form to return to the top of the Blast scoring charts, now with 443 runs, and Saif Zaib was excellent in his 74 – but it proved short in the six-wicket defeat.

Northamptonshire missed the chance to move to the top of the group with the top four teams now all separated by a single point – with Derbyshire, the Steelbacks and the Bears at 14, one behind Lancashire.

The Steelbacks won the toss and unthinkingly struck first on a quick pitch combined with a lightning-fast field and bright sunshine – with 200 always a bare minimum.

Lynn brought his run at Wantage Road to 361, averaging 120, but he initially took his time to get going.

A batted six over square, which never seemingly went down, got him going before a glorious on-drive followed by charging Carlos Brathwaite to clear the midwicket line.

Ben Curran had played a series of thumping straight shots before hitting Brathwaite on his stumps to end the 72-run opening score.

That wicket slowed Lynn somewhat, but he grounded his fourth fifty in five innings in 37 deliveries.

The Australian was dropped at 52 and had added just seven more runs before swaying to a short third man.

Zaib just picked up where he left off the night before, when he hit a career-best 92.

Earning a life on 12 – a second drop in a dismal field view – he immediately put it out of his mind with a four-four-six combo that ended with a full roll disappearing over the point.

Zaib, whose third half-century of T20 came on in 24 balls, destroyed Craig Miles when he took him for 20, taking 28 runs in the eight balls before falling to a spectacular long catch.

The last three overs were all action as 39 runs were looted and three wickets were taken as the Steelbacks reached 211 for six – the eighth highest score in their history, but only their fourth biggest on this ground in 2022.

That shortness of breath only continued as Paul Stirling hit 21 of Tom Taylor’s first over – including six over long on and off his legs – before the Irishman takes the first ball from the next over.

Highlights of the third ODI in Amstelveen as England romp to a 3-0 series whitewash of the Netherlands.

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Highlights of the third ODI in Amstelveen as England romp to a 3-0 series whitewash of the Netherlands.

Highlights of the third ODI in Amstelveen as England romp to a 3-0 series whitewash of the Netherlands.

Ben Sanderson struck again in his second over, bringing in just one run, when Rob Yates was knocked out and broke bail, before the pressure cleared the way for Taylor to pin Sam Hain up front.

Davies and Hose showed superb shot-play, especially on the cut and drive in a 69-run collaboration that threatened to put the game firmly in the hands of the visitors.

But after hitting back-to-back sixes on Freddie Heldreich, Davies got greedy and bowled in an attempt to slog-sweep a third, this time with stump damage.

Just as the running speeds converged, Benjamin set to work on a trio of sweeps, two the full distance and the other the entire floor, while Hose brought out his fifty with a six on the pull.

Benjamin’s fifty came in 28 balls – and included four maximums – while the pair set up 100 to get the Bears across the line with seven balls left, completing their highest successful chase.

Watch the third LV= Insurance Test between England and New Zealand, from Headingley, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event on Thursday at 10am.