Trott leads canter to trophy after Surrey's collapse
Warwickshire waltzed the Lord's final by eight wickets with a whopping 19.4 overs to spare, much to the disappointment no doubt of one of the biggest crowds for the 50-over final for years
Warwickshire 137 for 2 (Trott 82*) beat Surrey 136 (Burns 40) by eight wickets
Much emphasis had been placed at Lord's during the week of the gathering crisis that besets English professional cricket on the fact that Alastair Cook is now supposedly less recognisable than the biggest names in WWE wrestling. So for the benefit of any new readers who may have accidentally alighted on this page perhaps it should be observed from the start that the Royal London final was such a mismatch that Big Show versus Mayweather felt close by comparison.
In a week when English professional cricket was beset by division over its future, the game sorely needed a Royal London Cup final to reassure it that, however impassioned the debate, it was still capable of providing high-class entertainment. Instead, Warwickshire waltzed the Lord's final by eight wickets with a whopping 19.4 overs to spare, much to the disappointment no doubt of one of the biggest crowds for the 50-over final for years.
Jonathan Trott has rarely regarded himself as one of cricket's Big Shows. His approach is far too conservative for that, his character far too reserved. But after Warwickshire had dismissed Surrey for 136 - almost ten overs unused as they lost their last eight wickets for 37 in 15.2 overs - Trott compiled an unbeaten 82 in a phlegmatic manner to put batting conditions into perspective. He averaged 72 to get Warwickshire into the final and was their mainstay once more.
In the Lord's committee rooms, with the ECB chairman Colin Graves robust enough to have donned wrestlers' garb, metaphorically at least, they have been obsessing - as they must - about the future of T20. But out on the field, in the 50-over final, Trott was playing in a composed, old-fashioned manner that suggested that nothing had changed, that the game was the same as it ever was, that a methodical approach and sound selection could still win trophies. There had been only three lower scores in a Lord's final. He could have blocked his way to victory.
Surrey managed only two wickets. Sam Hain, unnecessarily, reverse swept Zafar Ansari to Sam Curran at what was then short fine leg - Trott had played the shot more delicately earlier in the over - and Ian Bell gloved a bouncer from Stuart Meaker to the wicketkeeper. Life is not about to become easy for Bell, not while relegation from the Championship remains a possibility as ther last week of the season looms. But Trott proceeded with equanimity, a cover drive off Sam Curran settling the match. Curran looked morose, although it is best not to feel too sorry for an 18-year-old with two Lord's runners-up medals to his name. Trott, idiosyncratically, scratched his guard with the match won, maybe an indication that he plans to be back again next year.
Surrey were also outdone by Gloucestershire in the final a year ago, but this time they suffered a more overwhelming defeat on a used Lord's pitch that encouraged Warwickshire's seam bowlers and also turned progressively for Jeetan Patel. It was not a pristine surface - it is mid-September at Lord's after all and traffic has been heavy - but Surrey should have managed top-side of 220 to make it a contest.
The story of the September one-day final has long been one of grim, grey skies and naggy surfaces. It was surprising for some therefore that Surrey's captain, Gareth Batty, chose to bat after winning the toss. Batty's hope was that a used pitch would continue to deteriorate but, with only 136 to defend, Surrey never found the purchase that Warwickshire's bowlers had earlier in the day. It was Oliver Hannon-Dalby, in particular, who made it seam and Patel again who proclaimed himself the best spin bowler in the county game. Better, on this day certainly than the respectable Surrey duo who are heading with India to Bangladesh.
Surrey's batting disarray was a world away from the early overs, in which Jason Roy and Steven Davies gave Surrey a confident start. Davies, who is on his way to Somerset, must have yearned for a trophy-winning farewell as he drove crisply through the covers. Roy abounded with promise as he worked the leg side gaps. Rikki Clarke, who bowled only three new-ball overs, was left with figures of 3-0-24-0 which were out of sync with what followed.
It took a quite wonderful catch by Laurie Evans to silence Roy. When Roy rose to his full height - relatively speaking - to pull Chris Wright through midwicket, he did so with a flourish which proclaimed I'm The Man, only for Evans to intercept with a diving, one-handed catch to his right. Davies' careless demise against the offbreaks of Ateeq Javid was a quieter affair as Tim Ambrose stole a neat leg-side stumping. At 99 for 2, though, Batty's decision was sound enough.
Kumar Sangakkara is the pivotal figure in a Surrey middle-order that seems more suited to the rhythms of Championship cricket. That Sangakkara was so cagey, as was his fellow left-hander, Rory Burns, soon told that a run spree was out of the question. Hannon-Dalby then indicated that the situation was a whole lot worse than that.
Hannon-Dalby is an unprepossessing figure, a spindly, square-on seamer, with a front-arm that has a bit part role, entering his action without acclaim. But he persistently belies his unthreatening appearance in limited-overs cricket. When he had Sangakkara caught at the wicket, it was in an excellent over when he had passed the edge of Burns' bat more than once. A nip-backer accounted for Ben Foakes for a duck in his next over and when Ansari also fell without scoring, this time against Patel as a suspicious leading edge was well caught by the diving Evans at short extra, Surrey had lost 3 for 3 in 17 balls.
Burns buckled down but the wickets kept falling. Sam Curran tried to hit a long hop from Javed from Lord's to The Oval and was bowled as a consequence, Hannon-Dalby ran out his brother, Tom, from short third man after he sought an unlikely single and was sent back, and Burns, running out of partners, came down the pitch to Patel, missed one that turned and was bowled.
Chris Woakes, a bowler of England stature these days, ensured no monkey business from the tail, demolishing the stumps of Batty and Jade Dernbach in successive overs to leave Warwickshire in a strong position at the interval. All that was left was for Trott to strap on the pads and do what he does best.
David Hopps is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps