Birmingham Bears: Lack of aggression and batting frailty worries skipper Ian Bell

Ian Bell
Ian Bell has scored 1,540 runs at an average of 27.50 in 63 T20 innings in his career

Captain Ian Bell says Birmingham Bears are not being aggressive enough in the T20 Blast and their recent batting collapses are "a major concern."

The Bears wasted a chance to clinch a quarter-final place in their 74-run defeat by Northamptonshire on Tuesday.

"It wasn't a great effort," 34-year-old Bell told BBC WM.

"When we're good, we're very good and when we're bad, we're very bad. We have some class players, it's just not quite happening at the minute."

After ending a three-game losing run against Leicestershire on Sunday, the Bears knew another win at Wantage Road would seal their spot in the last eight of the competition, which they won in 2014..

But Bell felt his side did not do enough to get themselves in the game.

"We weren't aggressive enough," he said. "We eased our way in and you need to hunt for wickets and I didn't feel we did that. I thought 200 was gettable."

Their pursuit of 201 for victory never got going despite Bell's 63 and they subsided from 60 for no wicket to 126 all out.

Birmingham Bears
Birmingham Bears won their first T20 Blast title beating Lancashire in the final at Edgbaston in 2014

It was the second major collapse in three games after the Bears lost nine for 35 in a five-wicket defeat by Worcestershire.

"It's a major concern, towards the back end we're just not getting those partnerships," Bell added.

"But I have full belief in the group - we are a very good side and have proven that. I think we can beat any team in the county but our consistency is not quite there."

The Bears still have two chances to qualify for the quarter-finals by winning either of their last two group games - against Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston on Friday, or away at Lancashire a week later.

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