sport

Duo boost Birmingham

An unbeaten partnership of 67 from Laurie Evans and Ateeq Javid laid the foundations for Birmingham to claim an 18-run win over Nottinghamshire in the NatWest T20 Blast.

The Bears had got off to a slow start but Evans clobbered 45 off 23 balls, ably supported by Javid, as the visitors posted 156 for five.

Notts got their reply off to a flying start but wickets then fell steadily and they ended up falling well short.

Birmingham chose to bat but were one down in just the third over when Samit Patel had William Porterfield (six) off the bowling of Harry Gurney.

Jonathon Webb could only add 14 to the total before Ajmal Shahzad had a victim - tempting the rookie, playing just his fourth T20 game, to find skipper James Taylor.

The run-rate was going at a relative snail's pace and when Taylor took another catch off Patel to remove Varun Chopra (17), the Bears looked to be unsteady at 43 for three.

Shoaib Malik and Tim Ambrose briefly upped the pace but the former England wicketkeeper fell for 13 when Alex Hales took a catch off Patel.

Riki Wessels then took a stunning catch to remove Malik (29) off Patel and the the visitors were set for a below-par total when Evans took matters into his own hands.

The 26-year-old clubbed three fours and a six in four consecutive balls in a 20-run 17th over with Javid finishing unbeaten on 26.

Notts got off a flying start and were 53 without loss off five overs before both openers exited in three balls to Shoaib.

The Pakistani first bowled Hales for 30 and then had Michael Lumb (24) trapped lbw shortly after.

Samit Patel was next to go for five, caught by namesake Jeetan off the bowling of Javid and the Bears must have sensed their chance as the rate began to slow.

Wessels (15) fell off the final ball of the 14th over with Webb taking the catch off Boyd Rankin and Chris Read made just two before edging behind off Chris Wright.

Recordo Gordon then removed Steven Mullaney (four) and Taylor (28) as Notts ran out of steam.