T20 Blast: Bears beat Foxes to gain a four-point lead

Warwickshire all-rounder Rikki Clarke
Bears all-rounder Rikki Clarke followed up his 46 with the bat by taking 1-0 off his four overs
NatWest T20 Blast North Group
Birmingham Bears 160-8: Clarke 46, Ambrose 34, Raine 3-24
Leicestershire Foxes 152-4: Cosgrove 74, Clarke 1-10
Bears won by eight runs
Match scorecard

Birmingham Bears kept their nerve again as they defended a below-par score against Leicestershire to win for the second time in 24 hours.

Following on from Friday's record-breaking Brendon McCullum-inspired win over Derbyshire, the reigning T20 Blast champions won by eight runs to open a four-point lead in the North Group.

This time Kiwi star McCullum went cheaply for just 6 off six balls.

But, after reaching 160-8, the Bears limited Leicestershire to 152-4.

The Bears' death bowlers Recordo Gordon and Oliver Hannon-Dalby proved crucial when Leicestershire looked likely to get home.

What's in a name?
Warwickshire had never won English cricket's Twenty20 in 11 years of trying until last summer's change of branding in the T20 Blast to the Birmingham Bears - and the newly-named outfit won at their first attempt

The visitors owed most when they batted to a 60-run fourth-wicket stand between Rikki Clarke (46) and Tim Ambrose (34).

Man of the match Clarke did a great job with the ball too, sending down his four overs for just 10 runs.

The Bears have now picked up 16 points from their first 10 matches - four clear of second-placed Worcestershire and six clear of the chasing pack.

With just four group matches left, Dougie Brown's side already look almost certain to qualify for the quarter-finals again, in contrast to last summer, when they only "burgled" their way through in the final game.

But they still have to travel to New Road to face Worcestershire next Friday night for the fourth 'Pears-Bears derby' of 2015.

All (two in the County Championship and one in their first T20 Blast group game at Edgbaston) have so far gone the Bears' way. But Worcestershire have a chance to out some pressure on by beating Durham at home on Sunday (5 July, 14:30 BST).

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