T20 Blast: Ian Cockbain shines as Gloucestershire thrash Birmingham Bears

Gloucestershire batsman Ian Cockbain
Ian Cockbain took just 19 balls to reach his half-century and finished with seven sixes and six fours from his unbeaten 84

Ian Cockbain bludgeoned an unbeaten 84 as Gloucestershire beat Birmingham Bears by 57 runs in the only T20 Blast tie to survive the rain on Wednesday.

Cockbain led a brutal assault on the Bears bowling, facing just 35 balls as his side made 157-3 in a game reduced to 12 overs a side because of the rain.

Bears were all out for 100 as Glos earned a victory which takes them up to second in Central Group.

No play was possible in any of the three scheduled North Group matches.

The top-two meeting between Lancashire Lightning and Notts Outlaws, as well as the games between Derbyshire and Durham and Leicestershire and Yorkshire, also succumbed to the weather.

Cockbain's awesome innings in a delayed start, which included seven sixes and six fours, as good as decided the game before Bears began their reply at Edgbaston.

Cockbain and Miles Hammond (41 off 23) hit 24 off former England bowler Tim Bresnan's first over to help the visitors reach 66-1 by the end of the fifth over and the carnage continued all the way through, with Ryan Higgins also contributing a dismissive 16 off seven balls.

The Bears reply showed some encouraging early signs with 19 coming off the third over, but with the already daunting required rate steadily creeping up, the pressure told.

Spinner Tom Smith did most of the damage, with career-best figures of 5-16 off just three overs ensuring a ruthless win.

North Group rained off

A rain-soaked Headingley
Groundstaff tried in vain to get a rain-soaked Headingley fit for purpose

Torrential rain prevented any play between Lancashire and Notts at Aigburth.

The bad weather set in at lunchtime on Merseyside and the umpires called the game off just before 15:00 BST, meaning the North Group's top-two sides are tied on six points.

Lancashire's next game in the Blast is at home to Derbyshire in Liverpool on Friday afternoon, while later that evening Notts take on Leicestershire at Trent Bridge.

Elsewhere in North Group, Derbyshire against Durham also fell foul of the weather.

Yorkshire and Leicestershire suffered more frustration as their fourth Blast fixture was washed out without a ball bowled at Emerald Headingley.

It was Yorkshire's second No Result in four matches and Leicestershire's third No Result in four fixtures. They remain unbeaten having won their other fixture, against Durham at Headingley on Monday.

Both are back in action on Friday. Yorkshire travel to Durham when Joe Root will make his final appearance before returning to England duty for the three-match one-day international series against Australia.

Thursday's fixtures (all times BST)

13:05: Worcestershire Rapids v Somerset - Edgbaston

14:00: Sussex Sharks v Kent Spitfires - Hove

18:15: Middlesex v Essex Eagles - Lord's

18:30: Surrey v Hampshire - The Oval

18:35: Northants Steelbacks v Glamorgan - Edgbaston

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