T20 Finals Day: Birmingham Bears beat Surrey to reach final
|NatWest T20 Blast semi-final, Edgbaston|
|Birmingham Bears 194-4 (20 overs) beat Surrey 178-7 (20 overs) by 16 runs|
Birmingham Bears reached their first Twenty20 final since 2003 with a 16-run semi-final win over Surrey in the T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston.
Will Porterfield's unbeaten 81, Ian Bell's 38 and Rikki Clarke's 35 saw the Bears reach 194-4 off their 20 overs.
Jason Roy smashed 58 off 25 balls in reply but, after Kevin Pietersen (13) fell to Ateeq Javid (2-13), Surrey crumbled as they reached only 178-7.
Birmingham face either Lancashire or Hampshire in the final at 18:45 BST.
Victory over last season's beaten finalists means the Bears, not using the Warwickshire name for this year's competition, finally have revenge for their Twenty20 final defeat in 2003.
England international Ian Bell had got the Bears off to a fine start when he opened the batting with captain Varun Chopra (23), before Porterfield ramped up the runs, hitting 81 off 47 balls, including five fours and five sixes.
In reply, Roy, labelled the best T20 player in England by his captain Gary Wilson prior to Finals Day, thumped the ball around before top edging to Chris Woakes at fine leg when well set.
|Jason Roy set the record for most runs in an English domestic Twenty20 season when he reached 50, surpassing Jimmy Adams' previous record of 668 in 2010.|
That brought former England batsman Pietersen to the crease, and he rightly survived an lbw appeal and a dropped catch by Porterfield while on three as Surrey reached 104-1 at the halfway stage.
But Chopra brought on spinner Javid, who had Pietersen caught and bowled for just 13 before getting Wilson in the next over.
Wickets then tumbled, with Steven Davies (39) run out when trying to take a risky extra run, O'Brien run out by a direct hit from Porterfield and Woakes bowling Azhar Mahmood and Robin Petersen.
Despite the ease at which the Bears crossed the line, there will be concern for wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose, who needed the physio to put back in his thumb which he dislocated when dropping a nick from O'Brien.