Gloucestershire on brink of T20 Blast last eight

Ian Cockbain has now plundered 128 runs against the Bears in two innings inside a fortnight
Ian Cockbain has now plundered 128 runs against the Bears in two innings inside a fortnight

Central Group leaders Gloucestershire battered Birmingham Bears by 50 runs in Bristol to stand on the brink of the T20 Blast quarter-finals.

Ian Cockbain, who hit 84 not out in last week’s group win over the Bears at Edgbaston, added a further 44 off 21 balls as the hosts totalled 173-6.

That was after Chris Dent (39) and Miles Hammond (49) had led the way with an opening stand of 88.

But the Bears did not even get close, being bowled out for just 123.

Only Sam Hain offered much resistance, still there at the end on 43 after spinners Matt Taylor (3-29) and Graeme van Buuren (3-33) had done the damage.

Gloucestershire’s sixth successive win almost assures them of a place in the last eight, which will be official if bottom club Worcestershire beat second-placed Northants in this evening’s later game.

“To win six on the bounce is a great effort by the lads,” said Cockbain. “What we want now is to earn a home quarter-final because we know the conditions here and play them well.

“It’s just one of those things that I have been able to score big twice against the Bears. Sometimes you just feel it is your day and I’ve hit the ball sweetly in both games. But I probably got out to my sweetest hit of the lot.”

The Bears remain third on nine points, level with Northants and four points behind Gloucestershire, still with a chance of claiming one of the slots as the two best third-placed sides in the three groups.

In this evening’s other game, Leicestershire host Derbyshire at Grace Road in North Group.

Coming next

Wednesday, 16 September (start times BST)

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14:00 – Hampshire v Essex Eagles – Ageas Bowl

14:00 – Kent Spitfires v Middlesex – Canterbury

18:30 – Glamorgan v Somerset – Cardiff

18:30 – Yorkshire Vikings v Durham – Emerald Headingley

18:30 – Surrey v Sussex Sharks – Kia Oval



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