September 15, 2012

Clydesdale Bank 40 Final

5.30pm: And Hampshire have won it!!!

5.30pm: And Hampshire have won it!!!

First ball was a yorker, just dug out past the bowler for a single that could well have been a run out...then a low full toss that Woakes can only drive to deep cover...5 off 4 balls...bowled him! Blackwell swings across the line and misses...Neil Carter to the crease, what a fairytale this could be for him...5 from 3 balls needed...goes to sweep, gets struck on the pad, huge appeal for lbw, not out, they go for the run...but don't! And Woakes has to scramble back to the non-striker's end...5 from 2 balls...four!! Low full toss and it's cracked past extra cover to the grandstand! Amazing stuff this...1 from the final ball of the season...the field all come up...and Carter misses and is run out!! Hampshire win by losing fewer wickets! What a final this has been, fabulous cricket...

5.20pm: Wood could be the star for Hampshire

He bowled superbly earlier on but didn't quite get it right in the penultimate over. A dot ball followed a scramble two into the leg side, a wide followed before a single to point which brought Ian Blackwell onto strike...but he could only dab it to leg for one...15 from 8 balls...and then Woakes goes across his stumps and takes four past short long leg, just tucked it past the fielder...11 from 7...and takes four more over point, what a couple of balls...7 off the last over, needed what a thriller...Kabir Ali with the last over...

5.15pm: Woakes tries to win it

An uppercut for four and two out to cover brings it down to 20 from 12 balls.

5.10pm: Drama here, drama...

In fact there couldn't be more drama in here if Elvis walked in and asked for a chip butty. Ian Bell has holed out to deep square leg and now 27 are needed from 18 balls without him...

5pm: Coming down to the wire

Still work to do for the Bears after a successful Powerplay. Ricky Clarke has just been bowled by Chris Wood, to hand him his third wicket, but Ian Bell is still there having gone to another milestone in a Lord's final. 52 to win in five overs will take some getting...

4.35pm: The final overs of the season...

...Are actually set to be quite interesting because Warwickshire have contrived to make this just a touch tricky by losing a couple of wickets when cruising. First Time Ambrose went to run one down to third man and edged to Michael Bates who held a sharp chance. Jim Troughton then followed him back to the pavilion – a vital cheap wicket that Hampshire needed – being foiled by his opposite number, Jimmy Adams, who caught him at short extra cover.

Ian Bell sent a half-chance to long leg and had Kabir Ali clung on, it could have been really interesting. As it is, with the batting Poweplay to come, and 83 needed from 10 overs, Warwickshire are the favourites.

England’s Women are totally outplaying West Indies by the way, another mismatch.

4pm: Bells ringing out for Bears

Warwickshire are in total control. Darren Maddy stupidly holed out to deep midwicket but Tim Ambrose has come in and he and Ian Bell are ticking things along nicely. 10 more overs of this and the game will be as good as done and dusted. I mentioned that Hampshire don’t particularly have a change-up in the bowling attack and it’s proving the case, no-one can particularly hold the scoring rate – or threaten to take a wicket at all. It’s very comfortable.

Meanwhile, down at Hove, England Women are going for four out of four T20s against West Indies. They’ve put 154 on the board, largely thanks to Lydia Greenway. Odds stacked in their favour of completing part four of the whitewash.

3.25pm: Strong start for the Bears

Warwickshire decided not to open with Ian Bell, despite his excellent record in finals, instead going with Darren Maddy alongside Varun Chopra. The tactic worked to an extent because to remove Bell early in the innings would have been a real fillip for Hampshire. As it is, Bell has come in after a half-century opening stand and Warwickshire are well into the chase. Bell has also opened his account with a pull for four and another sweetly timed stroke, over mid on for another boundary.

Hampshire decided to open the bowling with Liam Dawson, their main spin threat, which one, didn’t exactly work, and two, means they don’t really have a change-up option. Lots of similar-style bowling to follow and I don’t think they have the armoury to trouble Warwickshire.

2.15pm: Hampshire post 244 for 5

Very good effort from the man I rather didn’t want to see bat because of his slightly inedible technique, Simon Katich, he has shuffled and flicked nicely for 35 from 26 balls to share an excellent stand of 69 off 43 balls with Sean Ervine, who added another half-century to his tally in Lord’s finals. There was no dream spell from Neil Carter who lost his way with a few wides and went at more than a run-a-ball in his set, although he did pull things back with a fine last over of the innings.

A solid total on the board but I’m backing Warwickshire to knock these off. They know how to chase and have an excellent line up. Ian Bell has played a hand in their previous chases here and if he gets going again, the double could be heading to Edgbaston for the first time since 1995.

1.30pm: 10 to go...

With Hampshire having set a good platform here, just three wickets down and Jimmy Adams with his eye firmly in for an assault towards 250. Neil McKenzie had a shocker, 19 from 36 balls, looked out of touch, but there's not too much batting to come for Hants so Adams and Sean Ervine, who has been here and done the business before, need to do most of the work to get Hampshire to something they can defend, because the Bears' batting line up is a little deeper.

The spinner have done well for Warwickshire, Ian Blackwell making up for his slightly static fielding - one slide from short fine leg missed and conceded four - with eight overs for 42. Jeetan Patel did even better, slipping through his allocation only shipping 32 runs. Advantage Bears at the moment.

12.55pm: Halfway stage

Hampshire have been pegged back with both openers dismissed after a solid opening stand. Carberry cut very loosely off Chris Wright and was held by a smart low catch at point, again by Jeetan Patel. Neil McKenzie – a right-handed Stephen Fleming and Jimmy Adams – a British Shane Watson – are now steadily accumulating.

We’ve had some drama on the terraces. A chap went to retrieve his beach ball from over the picket fencing in front of the lower tier of the Compton stand. Oh dear. The stewards took immediate offence and one chap tried in vain to rugby tackle him to the ground. The old bill intervened and restored order, not sure what became of the young man once he had been lead back into the stand.

12pm: Hampshire in bright start

It's been a lively opening, Neil Carter and Chris Woakes with the new ball for the Bears and at their pace they cannot afford to stray too far off line. They have done on occasions and Michael Carberry in particularly has played some firm strokes. He and James Vince, who played the stroke of the morning via extra cover, put on the highest stand of the three CB40 finals to date before he pulled to Jeetan Patel who made a smart grab diving forward at deep square leg in front of the Mound stand.

Spin has just been introduced and Carberry has tucked into Ian Blackwell's second ball and smashed it over long on for six.

11am: Alex Winter, it's gonna be me all day so I'll stop putting this I think, with news of the toss

Glorious day here at Lord's and around 20,000 should be in the ground so a good attendance and why not, conditions could't be better here. The pitch looks pretty good too. Nevertheless, Warwickshire, on winning the toss, have chosen to bowl first - sticking to their formula that has served them so well in the group stages. The last four finals have also been won by the side batting second and Warwickshire will look to avenge the defeat against today's opponents back in 2005, when they failed to get over the line despite a hundred from Nick Knight.

Team news is that Neil McKenzie is back from Hampshire, who include Kabir Ali. Ian Bell and Darren Maddy are both in for Warwickshire, along with Neil Carter, who played in Warwickshire's last two finals here, a real veteran of the club, and who will retire after this match.

10.45am: Alex Winter watching the WAGs and players getting fitted for their suits

You know what i’m on about, traditional cup final fayre, the type of which unfortunately has been lost from the FA Cup final and cricket’s cup final has gone the same way in recent years. These two teams played out perhaps the last great old-style cup final – a packed house, channel 4, gorgeous September afternoon. And hopefully today will produce a final to get us back to the grand old days when a county trip to Lord’s was the feature of the season; we’ve certainly got the weather.

But here we are. We’ve had Man City, Chelsea, almost Murray, Frankel, Black Caviar, Camelot, Ennis, Farah, Wier, Simmons, McElroy, Els, Amla, Hamilton, Button, and finally Murray again – this time playing a lead part in this Great British Summer. It’s all draws to a close today and hopefully we can go out with a bang and who wouldn’t be calling on the CB40 for an encore.

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo