Trott and Bell guide Warwickshire win
Warwickshire 212 for 3 beat Hampshire 211 for 8 by 7 wickets
A second-wicket partnership of 155 between Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell guided Warwickshire to a seven-wicket win over Hampshire at the Rose Bowl. The pair dominated a tame Hampshire bowling attack as they reached their target of 212 with more than four overs to spare, condemning the Royals to a third consecutive Clydesdale Bank 40 defeat, and extending Warwickshire's winning start to the competition.
Trott narrowly missed out on a deserved ton, smashing an unbeaten 96 from 115 balls in a perfectly paced innings of controlled aggression and flawless shot selection. Bell also gave the England selectors a timely reminder of his abilities with a fine knock of 71 at almost a run a ball, before eventually falling to Rangana Herath with victory in sight.
Hampshire briefly looked like making a fist of defending their mediocre 211 for 8 after James Tomlinson removed Neil Carter for just 15 to reduce Warwickshire to 30 for 1. But dealing with the often troublesome prospect of batting under floodlights, Bell and Trott combined to wrest the initiative from Hampshire and ease their side to a comfortable victory.
Trott in particular looked to have returned to the sort of form which saw him plunder a debut Ashes century last year, but seemed to desert him during an up-and-down winter with England.
On a placid batting strip - which had seen over 1,000 runs plundered during Hampshire's previous County Championship match with Somerset - Hampshire made a dreadful start, in keeping with their spluttering start to the season.
Hampshire were seeking a morale-boosting first win of the year, but openers Michael Carberry and Jimmy Adams were removed by Chris Woakes for a single apiece and despite impressive starts from England Under-19 star James Vince (30) and in-form Sean Ervine (35), who were both dismissed by Boyd Rankin, Hampshire were always struggling to reach a par score.
Neil McKenzie anchored the innings with a patient, unbeaten 62 from 77 balls, dragging Hampshire's score to a competitive level, but as he ran out of partners - and failed to open his shoulders as the overs ticked by - so Warwickshire tightened their grip on the game.
As Warwickshire's innings progressed almost without incident, the last drama for the Rose Bowl crowd was to see if Trott could inch his way to a match-winning century, but ever the professional, he did not farm the strike, finishing a boundary away from his ton.