Bears seek to reclaim the Norm

Birmingham Bears will try to reclaim the prestigious Norman Gifford Trophy when they face old rivals Worcestershire Rapids in the Vitality Blast at Edgbaston on Friday (6.30pm).

The trophy, named in honour of former England left-arm spinner Gifford who played for both counties during a wonderful career which brought him 2,068 wickets, is always at stake when the two neighbours meet in T20.

It is in the Rapids’ possession at the moment after their thrilling four-run win at New Road earlier this season – and the New Road side has also enjoyed their recent T20 visits to Edgbaston, winning the last two, by five runs last season and five wickets in 2016.

But the Bears just have the edge overall. Of 26 completed T20 meetings between the two teams, the Bears have won 14 and the Rapids 12 with an identical record at each ground, Edgbaston and New Road, 7-6 to Birmingham.

A pulsating atmosphere is guaranteed from the customary bumper derby crowd on Friday to see whether Grant Elliott’s side can get their hands back on the Norman Gifford Trophy.

Whatever the outcome, no spectator will have any complaints about the entertainment value if the game matches the Royal London 50-Over Cup tussle between the sides at Edgbaston earlier this year when the Rapids won an absolute cracker by one wicket.

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