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Birmingham Bears still in the qualifying places despite big loss

Derbyshire Falcons’ Vitality Blast charge continued with a thumping seven-wicket win over Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.

The Falcons lodged their fourth successive victory as they comfortably beat a Bears side which had piled up a Blast record total against Notts Outlaws only two days earlier.

This time the Bears were restricted to 159 for seven by excellent bowing led by Sam Conners (three for 25) and Mattie McKiernan (two for 18).

Sam Hain continued his sublime form with an unbeaten 73 (40 balls) but no other batter escaped the shackles.

The visitors made light of the modest target, racing to 160 for three with 11 balls to spare.

Luis Reece supplied early impetus with 38 (24 balls) before Wayne Madsen (55, 34 balls) and captain Shan Masood (45 not out, 45) added 89 in 59 balls to seal victory.

The win lifts the Falcons into the qualification spots while the Bears are also still there but remain hit and miss, their record total of 261 on Friday sandwiched between defeats by ten and seven wickets.

Another concern for them was Hain’s absence when fielding due to a sore back.

n Worcestershire Rapids’ clash with table-topping Nottinghamshire Steelbacks was washed out on Saturday.

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