Blast 19 Preview: Birmingham Bears v Notts Outlaws

The Bears return to Edgbaston on Friday looking to make amends following a difficult road trip. 

Three defeats and a tie from the previous four games has seen the Bears looking from outside in terms of top four place.

But despite their frustration away from Edgbaston, their success has come there.

Jim Troughton’s side has won its only two games on home soil and with the Outlaws (Friday) and Lightning (Sunday) visiting on Sunday, there’s an opportunity to reclaim a qualification spot.

“We’ve got a lot of games at Edgbaston to come and we’ve got to try and use it as a fortress,” said Will Rhodes.

“We’re two from two and that’s the way we’ve got to go. We love playing here, we’ve got a good method and hopefully that continues against Notts.”

Wednesday’s fixture against the Foxes showed the side’s potential. 

Henry Brookes bowled excellently with figures of 3/26 whilst Sam Hain and Adam Hose again showed the ability to put together a strong performance. 

Rhodes admits it wasn’t the perfect performance by any stretch, but believes the squad must see the positives and look forward.

“In T20 every team wins and loses,” added the all-rounder.

“In this competition we’ve done some good things and that’s not to be taken lightly. 

“We can build on the good stuff we’ve done, and yes we’ve been beaten, but we’ve got to keep looking forward and every game is winnable from now on. 

“All the matches are huge and the way the group’s going at the minute everyone is beating everyone. 

“It would be great if we can take points off Notts and get closer to them and move further up the league. 

“Obviously they are massive games for us and hopefully we can get over the line.”

Another achilles heel for the Bears has been freak injuries.

Just this week, Ashton Agar suffered a fractured foot whilst Olly Stone will miss two weeks with a back injury.

That has meant more responsibility for younger, inexperienced players, something which Rhodes believes will help long term.

“I think it’s been difficult all year, but the beauty of it is everyone’s cracked on,” Rhodes concluded.

“People have played out of position occasionally and again that’s the beauty of T20 cricket. 

“You can almost field whatever sort of team you want, but the responsibility therefore is on the key players to perform and I think we can do that.

“We spoke after the Leicestershire game and we’ve got to realise we’re a young side and inexperienced to a degree, but I think that’s a great learning process.

“To get beat you always learn more and we’ll be taking that into the weekend.”

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