Mellor: “Lap shot is something I have been working in the winter”

Alex Mellor has loved every minute of his recall to the Birmingham Bears side for the last two NatWestT20Blast games.

The wicketkeeper’s return has coincided with the team’s return to form. Victories over in-form pair Derbyshire Falcons and Leicestershire Foxes have put the Bears back at the heart of the race for qualification ahead of this weekend’s crucial home double header against Yorkshire Vikings on Friday (7pm) and Lancashire Lightning on Sunday (2.30pm).

Mellor has played his full part, not least at Leicester on Tuesday when his unbroken stand of 43 in 20 balls with Keith Barker was a huge factor in the win. His 11-ball 18, including an amazing lapped six off paceman Gavin Griffiths, helped lift the total to 187 – and put the Foxes’ batsmen under serious pressure.

"Now we have got another huge game against Yorkshire Vikings on Friday and hopefully we can put another win on the board and continue this little run we have put together."

Alex Mellor

“It was a fantastic win and I was just really happy to contribute,” said Mellor. “It was great that myself and Barks put on some important runs at the end and nice for me to put in a little cameo that helped us get over the line.

“I was pleased that the lap shot came off. It’s something I have been working in the winter and hopefully it will keep working and I can keep scoring runs from it.

“I have really enjoyed being back in the team. Ian Bell has put a lot of trust in me and I am just enjoying going out there and offering what I can. He just wants a lot of energy and buzz from me to help keep the boys going all the way through.

“Now we have got another huge game against Yorkshire Vikings on Friday and hopefully we can put another win on the board and continue this little run we have put together. Yorkshire are a good side but if we can keep doing what we are doing and putting the performances together we can get keep getting the big wins.”

The wicket-keeping of 26-year-old Mellor, who has been in fine form for Leamington in the Birmingham League, has also stood up well upon his return to the team. And he is thoroughly enjoying keeping to the likes of Jeetan Patel and Grant Elliott who have played so much top-class cricket around the world.

“It is fantastic working with these guys, not just in matches but training with them day in and day out,” he said. “Just talking to them and learning from them is a great thing to be able to do. They have played at the highest level and it’s awesome to be able to learn from them.

“I am just enjoying every minute of it, to be honest, and just want to keep putting in the performances to help the team to keep winning.”