Hampshire lift 2005 C&G trophy
Hampshire 290 (Ervine 104, Pothas 68, Carter 5-66) defeated Warwickshire 272 (Knight 110, Bell 54, Bichel 3-57, Watson 3-34) by 18 runs
Andy Bichel and Shane Watson each took three wickets as Hampshire defeated Warwickshire by 18 runs to win the 2005 C&G trophy. Nick Knight, with 104 and Ian Bell, 54, seemingly had the game under control for Warwickshire. But Bell was to suffer severe cramp which was his, and Warwickshire's, undoing as Hampshire's bowlers tightened their grip.
Set 291 to win, Neil Carter was putting in an early claim to be man-of-the-match as, with brute force, he set about the target, punching four fours and a six. He and his captain, Knight, put on 44 for the first wicket, before Carter was run out by Sean Ervine. Scrambling in vain to make his ground, Carter tripped and flattened all three stumps.
Ian Bell joined Knight at the crease, and the pair quickly and calmly continued Warwickshire's good start. Hampshire's bowlers, in particular Chris Tremlett, lacked aggression and their lines weren't troubling Warwickshire's batsmen: Knight was in particularly good touch, scampering singles and deftly guiding balls down to third man. Shortly before his fifty, Bell suffered severe cramp in his right leg which caused a delay of a few minutes while he received treatment. He received a runner shortly after notching his fifty, which contained just three fours, but cramp restricted his movements, and a feeble chip presented Tremlett with the simplest of catches.
Bell's wicket (166 for 2) signalled a change in fortune for Hampshire, who suddenly applied the brakes to Hampshire's run-chase. Andy Bichel returned to the attack as he and fellow Australian, Shane Watson, took wickets regularly to turn the match Hampshire's way. Both Jim Troughton (198 for 3) and Trevor Penney (207 for 4) fell victim to the tireless Bichel and, when Jonathan Trott was brilliantly run out by Shane Watson, Warwickshire's hopes suddenly rested upon the lower order.
The required run rate was nearing nine runs per over, and increasing with each wicket and dot-ball. Ashley Giles creamed one glorious extra-cover boundary to give his side hope, but he wasn't able to replicate his heroics at Trent Bridge as Shane Watson showed great composure and terrific skill to bowl him with a slower-ball. Tremlett cleaned up Makhaya Ntini as Hampshire romped to victory by 18 runs.
Earlier, Sean Ervine struck a superb hundred in Hampshire's innings, his second in consecutive games. They had threatened to post a total in excess of 300 as Warwickshire's bowlers, and Dougie Brown in particular, struggled to find their lines. But Warwickshire fought back strongly in the second half of the innings to restrict Hampshire to what was reasonable score on a very good batting wicket.
After Neil Carter picked up the key wicket of the former England batsman, John Crawley, Nic Pothas and Ervine took the attack to Warwickshire with a brisk and hustling partnership of 134. Their running between the wickets was alert and quick, and Ervine showed the same silky form he had displayed in the semi-final win over Yorkshire, in which he struck 100 from 99 balls. Just as the game was drifting out of Warwickshire's reach, Carter struck again to dismiss Pothas for 68; the ball lifted on him as he attempted a hook shot, as Crawley had done earlier, and Tony Frost took his second simple catch behind the stumps.
Amid rumours that Kevin Pietersen was to target his England colleague Ashley Giles, he holed out to a delighted Giles in the deep for just five off the bowling of the impressive Jonathan Trott. Trott then picked up the vital wickets of Shane Watson and Ervine in quick succession, after the pair had put on a useful partnership of 43 (253 for 5). Ervine, whose innings ended on 104, struck 12 fours in his excellent innings-stabilising knock.
Wickets continued to tumble, as Warwickshire held on to their catches; Ian Bell took a particularly good one to dismiss Dimitri Mascarenhas, running backwards, and pouching the ball neatly. Warwickshire continued their good work by running out Greg Lamb for just 4, and dismissing Shaun Udal and Andy Bichel all with the score on 282. Bichel was starting to attack the Hampshire bowlers, but he became Carter's fifth wicket in the innings. Chris Tremlett struck a mighty six off the first ball he faced, but was run out next ball, Hampshire's last of the innings, to leave Warwickshire needing a tricky but gettable 291 to win.
They were to fall short by 18 runs, and Sean Ervine's 104 won him the man-of-the-match award.
Will Luke is editorial assistant of Cricinfo