Frost and Westwood salvage tie
Warwickshire came back almost from the dead to tie their match with Gloucestershire at Bristol, courtesy of a four off the final ball of the match by captain Ian Westwood
Warwickshire 158 for 6 (Frost 53, Groenewald 39*, Lewis 3-22) tied with Gloucestershire 158 for 4 (Marshall 46, Botha 3-22)
Warwickshire came back almost from the dead to tie their match with Gloucestershire at Bristol, courtesy of a four off the final ball of the match by captain Ian Westwood. Gloucestershire had reason to feel deflated, as they had looked likely winners for most of the game, and also in that their ground was less than half-full.
Winning the toss, Warwickshire put in Gloucestershire, who opened with their two New Zealanders, Craig Spearman and Hamish Marshall. Spearman began the onslaught, then Marshall shot ahead, with such success that the 50 was raised in the sixth over. The stand was broken at 60 in the following over, Spearman (20) lofting a catch near the midwicket boundary, and two overs later Marshall was stumped for 46.
The bowler was Ant Botha, with his cunning off-breaks, and he also had Chris Taylor caught for 13. His superb bowling earned him figures of 3 for 22 off four overs, while Ian Salisbury at the other end also did a fine job with 1 for 25. The contrast with the seamers was stark: they were all hammered for at least nine an over. New Zealander Chris Martin, bowling for Warwickshire for the first time after rain on Wednesday denied him an over on his debut, only bowled three overs for 27 runs.
Thanks to the noble work of the spinners, Gloucestershire reached only 158 - with six wickets in hand, they would have expected more. Yet it looked likely to prove sufficient. Jon Lewis trapped Navdeep Pooniah lbw off the first ball of the innings, and Warwickshire's top order were unable to put together a partnership, falling steadily behind the clock. After ten overs they had a third of the required runs and needed more than ten an over.
Tony Frost batted superbly as he sought desperately to bring his team back into the match, and at last he found support in Tim Groenewald. Despite the urgency of the situation they hit wisely and well, and when they took 15 off the 18th over, bowled by Carl Greenidge, the task looked possible with 22 needed off two. But Marcus North bowled a tight penultimate over at the pinch to concede only eight, and it was top bowler Lewis to bowl the last.
Off the first ball Frost, having just reached an admirable 50 off 30 balls, holed out on the cover boundary after a stand of 66 in 31 balls. Groenewald responded with a magnificent straight six next ball, but Lewis kept it tight thereafter until the final delivery, when Westwood was facing his first ball with five to win. He sliced a four to the third-man boundary and the match was tied, leaving Groenewald unbeaten on 39.