Bears new signing set for Edgbaston baptism of fire in Pears derby

Zakary Foulkes can't wait for his first taste of Edgbaston on Friday night as a Bear - and what better fixture to partake in for your first than against the Worcestershire Rapids in a local derby. The Bears have been flying in the T20 Blast this term, winning eight of their ten matches to all but confirm a quarter final berth for the fourth consecutive season, with four matches still remaining.

The first of those games to come is against the Pears, who they comprehensively swept aside at New Road last month and are aiming for another white ball double. Foulkes, who hails from Christchurch and plays for Canterbury in his native New Zealand, has two T20 international caps to his name for the Kiwis.

It's the same number of games he's played so far for the Bears, and he has a 100% record thus far having helped them to overcome Yorkshire at Headingly last Friday and then demolish Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge at the weekend.

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"I've talked to a few lads about it, and there was one a few weeks ago which we thankfully got on top in," Foulkes told BirminghamLive about his forthcoming Edgbaston bow. "It's going to be awesome, I can't wait to play at Edgbaston. I've heard it's a great place to play and the atmosphere...there'll be 12 or 13,000 in, so it should be a great day. I've never played here before.

"I'm loving it, they're a great bunch of lads. They're a cruisy bunch and it's been great. Gavin [Larsen, performance director] had been in touch, they obviously had a few injuries and it's been cool to get an opportunity.

"I spoke to [Bears overseas bowler and compatriot] Michael Rae about the group and he had nothing but nice things to say. It's been nice to come into a team which is flying at the top of the table rather than being near the bottom."

Foulkes has enjoyed his time so far. It certainly helps, as he says himself, when the team is winning from the get go. Indeed the Bears have merely carried on their run of form prior to Foulkes' arrival - they've now claimed six victories on the spin in the Blast, which is certainly no mean feat.

Having set Yorkshire 210 on a batter friendly wicket and a short boundary, the Bears had to work hard to drag back their hosts at the death to pull off a hard fought victory. At Notts, though, it was as one sided an affair as you're likely to see - having bowled the Outlaws out for just 57, they strolled to a nine-wicket win.

"The first game was a baptism of fire," Foulkes reflected. "It was a small boundary, you don't often get 210 play 210. That was a great game of cricket, and then the second game was a bit different. I was thinking fingers crossed I didn't have to bat! The wicket wasn't a great T20 wicket but we played alright on it.

"You don't want to ride the highs too high or the lows too low in T20 cricket. It might be your day one day, but the next it might not. You have to stay pretty level through it all."