Durham aim to prevent Warwickshire double
September 20, Lord's
Start time 10.30am (0930GMT)
The Big Picture
In days gone by this was the fixture - the big one-day finale of the domestic season - which could swing the selectors' decisions over who would make a winter tour. However, although England's one-day squad is due to be named next week, and the domestic one-day format was returned to 50 overs to bring it on even terms with the international game, it is unlikely the performances on Saturday will decide the fate of a single player one way or the other. Still, it can't hurt to shine on such a stage.
And it is not that there will be a lack of past, present or potential future international talent on display at Lord's as Durham and Warwickshire, who both just squeezed into the knockout stages, lock horns to decide the final piece of major silverware for the 2014 season.
Current stars such as Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes - a fascinating head-to-head among the allrounders - go alongside Paul Collingwood and Rikki Clarke, whose international days are (probably) finished, and others like Mark Stoneman and Laurie Evans who continue to forge reputations. Some, such as Boyd Rankin and Scott Borthwick, are trying to show they deserve a second chance.
Warwickshire are aiming for the double following their T20 Blast success, which would provide a memorable full stop on their 20-year anniversary of the treble. Durham's first piece of domestic silverware came in the one-day game - the 2007 Friends Provident Trophy - since when they have continued to be a consistently strong county despite not having deep pockets.
If you are trying to split the teams ahead of the final you could argue that Warwickshire hold the edge because of their pace bowling. They have Woakes available, alongside the in-form Rankin, while Durham are without Graham Onions and John Hastings. However, they do have Chris Rushworth, fresh from his astonishing 15-wicket haul against Northamptonshire which has shot him to fame.
Route to the final
Durham Fourth in Group B; beat Yorkshire by 31 runs in quarter-final; beat Nottinghamshire by 83 runs in semi-final.
Warwickshire Third in Group B; beat Essex by four wickets in quarter-final; beat Kent by six wickets in semi-final.
When the teams met in the group stage, Durham won by five wickets despite a hundred from Jonathan Trott.
Watch out for...
One of the most enjoyable sights this season has been Jonathan Trott back enjoying his cricket and churning out the runs. He is the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament and has made two centuries, reminding everyone of the valuable role an in-form anchor can play at the top of the order if others around provide the impetus (not that his strike-rate of 87.09 is at all sluggish). He has been officially cleared for England selection, but whether that happens should not really matter: here is a player, who has been through the mill, doing what he does best.
It was not that long ago that, alongside Trott, Paul Collingwood was a vital member of the England team. His form this campaign has revived memories of when he was the Mr Reliable of the ODI middle order, scoring more than 400 runs at better than a run-a-ball. And he has decided he is not finished yet, either, after signing a new one-year deal despite growing coaching interests. Still, a player at the stage of Collingwood's career knows each big day out like this could be the last. So savour it.
Durham had held out hope that Hastings would be able to skip back from the Champions League for the final but he is needed by Chennai Super Kings so leaves a sizeable hole to fill. It is likely to come down to a choice between Peter Chase, the Ireland paceman, or Paul Coughlin to replace him. For Gareth Breese it will be his farewell appearance for the county.
Durham (probable) 1 Mark Stoneman, 2 Phil Mustard (wk), 3 Calum MacLeod, 4 Scott Borthwick, 5 Keaton Jennings, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Paul Collingwood (capt), 8 Gordon Muchall, 9 Gareth Breese, 10 Chris Rushworth, 11 Peter Chase
Chris Woakes is set to make his first Royal London Cup appearance, having been unavailable throughout the competition due to his involvement with England. Recordo Gordon is the player most likely to make way. Ian Bell has been ruled out with a fractured toe suffered during the ODIs against India, as well as a bout of tonsillitis.
Warwickshire (probable) 1 Varun Chopra (capt), 2 William Porterfield, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Tim Ambrose (wk), 5 Laurie Evans, 6 Rikki Clarke, 7 Ateeq Javid, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Jeetan Patel, 10 Oliver Hannon-Dalby, 11 Boyd Rankin
Pitch and conditions
There have been some high-scoring one-day matches at Lord's this season and the warm, dry September to date should mean the toss is less of a decisive factor than has often been the case in late-season finals. However, the 10.30am start is likely to have both captains seriously considering bowling first, especially as the forecast is for a cloudy day.
Stats and trivia
- This is Warwickshire's 18th domestic List A final. They have won eight and lost nine of their previous 17 Lord's finals. Durham won their only previous domestic final, in 2007.
- Of players with at least 10 wickets in Royal London Cup, Collingwood (3.99) and Clarke (4.07) have the lowest economy rates.
- Jonathan Trott has scored centuries in each of his last three List A innings against Durham - in 2007, 2010 and this season.
"It's always great to see Trott and Boydy back and performing as well as they are, but also it's great how a few young guys have stepped in and put their hands up, having come through the system."
Chris Woakes on Warwickshire's strong-knit team
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo