Birmingham Bears: T20 Blast champions still to find 'A-game'

Ashley Giles
Giles won the County Championship as a Warwickshire player in 1995 and 2004 and coached them to the title in 2012

Coach Dougie Brown says his Birmingham Bears side are yet to hit their peak and will try to spoil the return of Ashley Giles to Edgbaston in Friday's T20 Blast game with Lancashire.

Ex-Bears player and coach Giles, 42, is back for the first time as Red Rose coach and looking to upset the reigning champions and North Group leaders.

Brown said: "We're in a good position without having really hit our A-game.

"We are desperate to keep our momentum going right through the group."

The Bears, who edged into the knockout phase before going on to defeat Lancashire in last year's final at Edgbaston, top the group by two points with 18 points from 11 games, having won nine matches so far.

They booked their place in the quarter-finals with last Friday's five-wicket win at local rivals Worcestershire and will guarantee a home tie in the last eight if they can see off Giles's side.

Ashley Giles: Return of an Edgbaston favourite
Giles played 404 games in all competitions in 14 years with Warwickshire, taking 813 wickets with his left-arm spin.
He won the County Championship in 1995 and 2004.
Giles became Bears coach in September 2008 and guided them to four trophies, including the championship in 2012 and 40-over crown in 2010.

"Everyone knows about Ashley's contribution to Warwickshire as both player and coach," he said.

"He was brilliant for this club and worked incredibly hard to bring it success.

"He will always have a lot of mates here and it will be great to see him, but there will be no sentiment from anyone when the cricket starts.

"We are in a good position but need to keep going.

"There are plenty of examples over the years of teams who started off really well in the group but faded away a little bit towards the end and went out in the quarter-finals."

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