Hampshire v Warwickshire, CB40 Final, Lord's

Ali secures dramatic last-ball double

The Report by Alan Gardner

September 15, 2012

Comments: 23 | Text size: A | A

Hampshire 244 for 5 (Adams 66, Ervine 57) beat Warwickshire 244 for 7 (Bell 81, Wood 3-39) by virtue of losing fewer wickets
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Chris Wood is delighted at removing Tim Ambrose, Hampshire v Warwickshire, CB40 Final, Lord's, September, 15, 2012
Chris Wood was the pick of the Hampshire bowlers as they scrapped their way to a second one-day trophy © PA Photos
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Hampshire have proved more than a few times this season that it pays not to write them off and here they did so again, denying County Champions Warwickshire despite Ian Bell's 81 to steal a heart-stopping victory at Lord's.

With the scores tied, Neil Carter, playing his final match for Warwickshire, failed to collect the required single off the bowling of Kabir Ali to give Hampshire the trophy by virtue of having lost fewer wickets. Following their last-over win against Yorkshire in the Friends Life t20, this must surely have been the most dramatic one-day double in county cricket's history.

Bell had seemingly done enough to take Warwickshire home, passing fifty for the fourth time in a domestic one-day final. But Hampshire are more than the sum of their parts and when Bell picked out Michael Carberry at deep square leg with 27 required they had the crucial wicket. Just as during the 2005 C&G Trophy final, Bell's half-century against Hampshire was to be in a losing cause.

Until then, he had guided the chase in phlegmatic style. Wickets fell around him but although 83 were needed from the final ten overs, and 52 from the last five, Bell exuded a sense of control. Even when he departed, Chris Woakes took up the challenge and, with seven required from the last six balls, Warwickshire appeared to be the favourites. But Ian Blackwell was bowled and despite Carter's shovelled four off the penultimate delivery, Ali, like Chris Wood in Cardiff three weeks previous, held his nerve, beating the bat before sprinting off to be engulfed by his team-mates in celebration.

It was a poignant moment for Ali, born in Birmingham but discarded by Warwickshire at a young age, and came after he had dropped Bell earlier in the innings, a difficult chance at long leg when the batsman had 41.

Wood was also magnificent, his concession of just a single and a leg bye from the 35th over, in which he also dismissed Rikki Clarke, a crucial point in the match. His 3 for 39 followed 3 for 26 in the FLt20 final and, having scored his maiden first-class century the day before that, it is fair to say he has had quite a month.

This has not been a stellar year for Bell, by his his own high standards, but one-day cricket has been his tonic. Put him in a snooker hall and he would likely chalk up a 147, such has been his affinity for the white ball. A conversion to opener for England's ODI side brought a century and four fifties and it seemed as if his season would end with a match-winning hundred in a one-day final at Lord's. It wasn't to be.

Warwickshire, mssing the services of William Porterfield, at the World Twenty20 with Ireland, curiously preferred Darren Maddy as Varun Chopra's opening partner. Bell had previously guided them to victory in the 2002 B&H Cup final - scoring 65 not out batting at No. 3 - and against Somerset in the CB40 in 2010 - when he scored 107 at No. 4 - but it was to be his 54 in vain seven years ago that provided the precedent.

With Hampshire in dark blue and Warwickshire in black, both offset by yellow piping, there was little to tell the sides apart visually. In such a tight finish, even the scorers had trouble - Carter was not stumped off the last ball, as he appeared to have been in the frantic finale. The association was more than kit deep, too: both had won a title already this season; both had won Lord's finals of recent memory (Hampshire in 2009, Warwickshire in 2010); and both line-ups featured veterans from 2005.

Hampshire were led to victory by a Sean Ervine hundred that day and he made his side's most vibrant contribution with the bat this time around. After the final-day draw that sent last season's Championship pennant to Lancashire, Warwickshire fans will likely swear off holidays to the New Forest for a while.

Even with an attendance of 16,000 and a fair proportion of the white seating left empty, Lord's still jostled and thrummed with the excitement of a crowd that seemed demob happy, eager to drink from the county cup one last time. Children played kwik cricket on a section of the nursery ground, young men in ties mingled with old men in baseball caps, while the interval entertainment was provided by a troupe of schoolgirls performing a dance routine on the outfield. The atmosphere was lively and expectant and the spectators were treated to a denouement that will resonate long in the memory. The one-day competition needed a final like this.

Put in to bat under milky blue skies after Warwickshire won the toss, Carberry and James Vince set about the task with the sort of cold-blooded violence that marked their decisive 129-run opening stand in the semi-final against Sussex. Carter started with a leg-side wide that set the tone and neither he nor Woakes could curb the enthusiasm of Hampshire's openers.

Vince pushed his "Michael Vaughan" buttons early on, strictly come dashing out of the crease a couple of times and threading one exquisite drive between extra-cover and mid-off. Having taken Carter for successive boundaries, however, he pulled the next ball flat to deep square leg. Carberry, meanwhile, left-hooked Woakes for six over deep midwicket during an over that cost 14 but he too departed tamely soon after. From 70 for 2 after 11 overs, Warwickshire steadily obtained a handle on the scoring rate, as spinners Blackwell and Jeetan Patel wheeled away in bright sunshine.

A dogged innings from Hampshire's captain, Jimmy Adams, kept the scoreboard ticking but it was left to Ervine and Simon Katich to haul Hants up towards 250, as they turned on the tap in the final overs. Carter was handled without a trace of sentiment as the fifth-wicket pair put on 69 from 43 balls before Ervine was cramped for room after making a breezy 57.

It was becoming difficult to get Carter's selection, other than on nostalgic grounds, until the final over, when he could not be got at, conceding just four singles. In the end, however, it was Carter's inability to get anything on the last ball of the day that proved decisive.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ragebe on (September 17, 2012, 17:38 GMT)

Thoroughly exciting result. I slowed to 40 up the Wessex Way, so enjoyable was the commentary from Radio Solent; even getting home (from an eminently forgettable Bournemouth game) we sat in the car on the drive, listening to Solent for the last over, before racing in to rewind the Sky coverage and watch the last few overs.

How fortunate for us Hampshire Hogs that HCCC are always out of favour with the England selectors (and sour-faced Giles) such that we don't lose our key players to England during the summer. How unfortunate for England, that Carberry, Adams and Bates aren't en route to Sri Lanka with Briggs.

Great win to end the season (although after the T20 final at the Rose Bowl a couple of years ago and this one, not sure my heart will take much more)

Posted by indoorminer on (September 16, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

Congrats to Hants, commisseratios to Warwicks. Great game and both teams can be proud of themselves, I thought the final paragraph was a bit harsh towards Carter, mind. It makes it sound like it was his fault that they lost. As for super-over's - who needs 'em? It would have cheapened this game.

Posted by   on (September 16, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

y no super over? isnt it a KO match

Posted by voice_of_reason on (September 16, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

Just watched the highlights on Sky and feel that Bates deserved man of the match for a truly superb display of wicket keeping. What a shame they so often get over looked when the gongs are handed out.

Posted by SDHM on (September 16, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

@SamRoy - wonder how many times we're going to hear that about Wood in the next couple of years. No bad thing at all of course - Bracken was a fine one day bowler. I disagree about Woakes to a certain extent; I'm sure Bears fans who've seen 4 day cricket can back me up (or disprove me completely, but there you go) that he is a much better bowler with the red ball than the white; his records suggest this anyway. Most people have only come to know him through one day cricket as that's where he's been picked for England, but his form with the ball comes predominantly in the Championship.

Posted by colinje on (September 16, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

I was a little surprised that Man of Match went to Adams. Wood had best bowling figures by far and snared Chopra, Ambrose and Clarke all at key moments.

Posted by jackiethepen on (September 16, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

It is really great that Cricinfo provided such good coverage of this match. They provided a ball by ball commentary and an over by over blog. Cricinfo puts to shame the media who missed the excitement of following this Classic on line. Isn't it time for the ECB and the cricket media to really get their heads around the idea that the Counties provide cracking games of cricket. They should not have ignored the final. The trouble is it has become 'fashionable' to demote the 40 and 50 over game. It was the fashion last year to praise the 50 over game and the year before that the 40 over game! These fashionistas are doing a disservice to cricket. This was a great game of cricket and a fantastic advert. What a pity it wasn't on BBC TV or Channel 4. Do we really imagine that the Olympics would have been so popular shown only on Sky to paying customers?

Posted by   on (September 16, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

Absolutely gutted for Carts - was all set up for him to hit the winning run off his last ball for the Bears, a fitting end to a great servant for Warks, but credit to Kabir Ali for that last over. When the dust settles on this match, we'll reflect on a great season, despite this loss. You Bears!

Posted by JG2704 on (September 16, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

@farhan_arshi/Gareth Wyn Davies - Thanks for the responses. I'm surprised a batsman who I think hit the previous ball for a 4 would miss a low full toss

Posted by lebigfella on (September 16, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

Fantastic finale to the season & almost a dream swansong for Carter... sums up cricket - beautiful & cruel... not sure if paragraph 9 is particularly well though out. What if the teams were wearing white, would that have been easier? Normally the two dudes out there with bats represent the teams batting and the eleven men without bats are fielding... the blokes in coats are the umpires... look at the scoreboard for one last check to find out who is batting and voila! Facetious but factual x

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County Results
Hampshire v Warwickshire at Lord's - Sep 15, 2012
Hampshire won (lost fewer wickets)
Derbyshire v Hampshire at Derby - Sep 11-14, 2012
Derbyshire won by 6 wickets
Essex v Yorkshire at Chelmsford - Sep 11-14, 2012
Yorkshire won by 239 runs
Lancashire v Surrey at Liverpool - Sep 11-14, 2012
Match drawn
Leics v Gloucs at Leicester - Sep 11-14, 2012
Leics won by 2 wickets
Notts v Warwickshire at Nottingham - Sep 11-14, 2012
Match drawn
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