Brown eyes T20 play-offs

Warwickshire BearsWarwickshire director of cricket Dougie Brown is confident that his ‘Birmingham Bears’ can bounce back to reach the Natwest T20 Blast play-offs (Birmingham 20/1 outright).

The Bears began the competition in fine style, winning four consecutive 20-over games after an initial loss to Lancashire to move near the top of the standings.

But three defeats in a row plus a wash-out last Friday have left the Midlanders languishing in sixth place in the table with 10 points from 10 games played.

But all is not lost as the Edgbaston outfit are just one point behind fourth-placed Yorkshire in the North Group and still in with a great chance of progressing beyond the group stage.

The Bears take on Nottinghamshire in Birmingham on Tuesday evening and victory would see them move level on 12 points with the Outlaws and into the play-off zone (Birmingham 11/8, Notts 4/7 – Match Prices).

Brown knows that his charges cannot afford any more slip-ups but is refusing to panic and is upbeat about their prospects in the remaining matches.

“We have left ourselves almost no margin for error after missing two really good opportunities at Derby and Northampton,” he said. “But we are still very much in the mix.

“If we can win three of our last four games then I think we will have a strong chance of going through.”

The hosts will be without overseas star Shoaib Malik for the rest of the tournament, as his stint at the club has now come to an end, and the likes of Varun Chopra, Will Porterfield and Rikki Clarke will need to step up to cover for his absence (Chopra 3/1 Top Birmingham Batsman).

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