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Bears cruise past Gladiators

Warwickshire Bears kept their hopes of reaching the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals alive with a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Gloucestershire Gladiators at Edgbaston.

The Bears paced their pursuit of a 146-run target to perfection, Varun Chopra and Will Porterfield leading the way with an opening stand of 68 and Rikki Clarke smashing 40 from 21 balls.

The Gladiators made 145 for seven after they were put in thanks to captain Michael Klinger's 68 from 52 balls.

It took Klinger time to assess the pace of a pitch that Warwickshire used for last Saturday's win over Northamptonshire and the Australia A right-hander managed only 21 runs in the first 10 overs.

But Klinger found his range by pulling Steffan Piolet over the short midwicket boundary before reverse-sweeping Ateeq Javid for a second six.

Klinger's third six, swept off Piolet, took him to a 40-ball half century but he perished in the penultimate over of the innings when he was bowled while aiming Jeetan Patel through the off side.

New Zealand spinner Patel made it two wickets from two balls when he rearranged Ed Young’s stumps.

Apart from Klinger only Ian Cockbain, who also launched Piolet for a six in his quickfire 25, really got to grips with Warwickshire's miserly off-spinners.

Javid followed up his four wickets at Cheltenham with 3-26 and Patel, finished with a season's best 2-13.

Chopra and Porterfield's partnership ensured there was no chance of a repeat of Warwickshire’s collapse against Somerset on Sunday when they were shot out for 73, their lowest t20 total.

Porterfield eased to 34 from 30 balls, comfortably his highest score in this season's competition, but then carved Alex Gidman to Cockbain at point and Chopra also perished when well set, lbw trying to sweep slow left-armer Tom Smith.

Clarke then struck three sixes off Young in what proved to be the decisive over before he picked out deep midwicket, and Darren Maddy guided Warwickshire home with 14 balls to spare.

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