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Hampshire beat Warwickshire in Lord's thriller
Hampshire were crowned the kings of limited-overs cricket after a dramatic last-ball victory over Warwickshire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 final sealed a trophy double for the Royals.
The Friends Life t20 champions laid the foundations for their Lord's triumph by posting 244 for five, the highest total in three years of CB40 finals. Warwickshire's chase was inspired by a magnificent 81 from Ian Bell and a four from the penultimate ball of the match from Neil Carter drew the scores level.
But Carter, in his last match for the Bears, failed to get a bat onto Kabir Ali's final delivery to leave Warwickshire on 244 for seven.
The scores were tied but Hampshire claimed the trophy by virtue of losing fewer wickets. With the last four Lord's finals having been won by the chasing side, Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton invited Hampshire to bat first and they responded to the challenge. Michael Carberry scored a quickfire 35 at the top of the innings, laying a solid foundation in an opening stand of 41 with James Vince.
Carberry launched Chris Woakes and Ian Blackwell for sixes before he was caught by at point by Jeetan Patel, who snared an excellent low catch just above the grass.
Jimmy Adams flicked a glorious six over mid-wicket as he and Neil McKenzie took Hampshire past the 100 mark with a 57-run partnership. If Warwickshire thought they had checked Hampshire's growing momentum with the removal of McKenzie for 19, bowled by Blackwell, they were wrong.
Adams brought up his half-century from 51 deliveries before he eventually flashed at a wide delivery from Woakes and played on, falling for 66. Sean Ervine and Simon Katich took up the baton in a sprint finish for Hampshire, racing to a 50-run partnership from just 33 deliveries. Ervine laid waste to the Warwickshire attack in a blistering innings, hitting a six and six fours before being caught behind for 57 by Tim Ambrose off Darren Maddy.
Katich, the former Australia international, struck five boundaries in his unbeaten 35 as Hampshire threw down the gauntlet to Warwickshire. The Bears are confident chasers.
Five of their eight group wins were secured when batting second while Hampshire were short of two bowlers with Danny Briggs on England Twenty20 duty and Dimitri Mascarenhas sidelined through injury.
Openers Maddy and Varun Chopra took a different approach to Hampshire, putting on 53 for the first wicket at a measured pace. But the inability of Warwickshire's batsmen, with the exception of Bell, to build on strong starts to their innings proved to be the Bears' undoing.
Chopra was caught by Adams off a Chris Wood slower ball for 26 and Maddy then went for 35 after chipping Liam Dawson to mid-wicket as Warwickshire slipped to 89 for two.
Ambrose smashed Katich for two fours as he and Bell guided Warwickshire past the 100 mark before the wicketkeeper was caught behind off Wood for 26. When Troughton followed soon after for five, the responsibility for Warwickshire's double bid had fallen squarely on Bell's shoulders.
The England batsman enjoyed taking on the Hampshire bowling, scoring nine fours and a six as he guided Warwickshire to the brink of victory. With 10 overs remaining, Warwickshire were on 191 for four, exactly where Hampshire had been at the same point in their innings.
Wood bowled Rikki Clarke for 24 but Bell still led the chase, launching 13 from one Kabir over before finally succumbing, caught in the deep by Carberry off Woakes. Warwickshire still required 27 from the final three overs and Woakes did his best with an unbeaten 24, including successive boundaries off Wood to leave the Bears requiring seven from the last six balls.
When Kabir bowled Blackwell, that equation changed to five from three before Carter's sublime cover drive brought the scores level. But amid unbearable tension, with many on the Warwickshire balcony unable to watch, Carter could not get a bat on the final delivery of the match.
Wicketkeeper Michael Bates did brilliantly to gather Kabir's full delivery and preserve the dot ball, the most celebrated dot ball of Hampshire's triumphant season.
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