Bears Victorious as Vince Battles in Vain

Jul 26 2011

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Warwickshire BEars v Hampshire Royals
Clydesdale Bank 40
Tuesday 26 July
Edgbaston

Summary: Warwickshire beat Hampshire by 51 runs
Warwickshire Bears: 273-8
Hampshire Royals: 222 ao (39.2 ovs)
Click here for a full scorecard  

Hampshire Team:
Adams*, Vince, Dawson, Carberry, Howell, Ervine, Mascarenhas, Wood, Bates+ Tahir, Briggs

Warwickshire Team:
Carter, Chopra, Porterfield, Troughton*, Ambrose+, Clarke, Woakes, Barker, Botha, Piolet, Patel

An excellent spell of bowling from New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel ultimately won this match for Warwickshire after a 116-run partnership between Hampshire batsmen James Vince (82) and Sean Ervine (47) had looked set to take this Clydesdale Bank 40 match to the wire.

As it happens, three wickets from Patel during a period in which four batsmen went for the addition of just 17 runs meant Hampshire – chasing an already tough target of 274 – never really recovered, eventually being defeated by 51 runs.

Rikki Clarke (63) and Jim Troughton (61) had earlier top-scored for the Bears and combined for an important 60-run fifth-wicket partnership.

The result leaves Hampshire still third from bottom with their next match at home to fellow-strugglers, the Leicestershire Foxes on Sunday.

Clydesdale Bank 40 Group B - Game Nine

The Bears set the tone for the a steady innings with a relatively run-of-the-mill opening powerplay – notable only for Chris Wood having Varun Chopra (4) caught at cover point by Jimmy Adams. It was livened up briefly when, in the eighth over, Neil Carter played and missed at four Wood deliveries, smacking a four off the fifth, then nearly dropping a top-edge into Mascarenhas’ hands.

But, otherwise, with their hosts going at about a run-a-ball, Hampshire were forced to change things around and they brought Danny Briggs into the attack in the 12th over with immediate effect. The spinner (who was only drafted in at the last minute due to David Griffiths turning his ankle in the warm-up) was first hit for a six into the new stands by Carter (53) only to trap the South African lbw next ball; Warwickshire 83-2.

The man he left at the crease, Will Porterfield (41), was well on his way to a half-ton of his own when Hampshire’s other specialist spinner, Imran Tahir struck for the first time against his old team, having the Irishman caught at long-off by a scuttling Vince. And Hampshire’s Man of the Match would once again be involved – this time with an incredible one-handed catch high above his head – as Tim Ambrose (13) became the first of two Ervine victims in the 24th over; Bears 143-4

But Rikki Clarke had put on a valuable partnership with Darren Maddy at an important time in the reverse fixture and he did so again here, this time with skipper, Jim Troughton, who brought up his own half-ton with a single, celebrating with a boundary through extra cover for the 50 partnership. When Troughton (61), Keith Barker (4) and Ant Botha (1) all went soon afterwards Clarke saw no reason to hold back any more, whacking two fours and a six off Tahir’s final over and straight driving Ervine for a single to become the third Bears half-centurion.

He would also fall before the end of the innings but by then he had lead his side to a very competitive total of 273-8. Bearing in mind that the Royals had made 274-5 at The Rose Bowl and had still been pushed all the way to the final ball (eventually winning by 3 runs), it was certainly doable, but it was going to require an almighty effort to go one better than the Bears.

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Chris Wood was the Royals' most effective bowler with 3-61

Nevertheless, Hampshire went about their task in a steady and panic-free way, the two teams practically inseparable after the first 10 overs with the Royals’ 57-1 keeping pace with the Bears’ 58-1 at the same stage. If anything, it was the hosts who blinked first as Neil Carter was stopped from bowling by the umpires in only his 4th over having walked on the wicket one too many times; Vince and Ervine having just made their 50 partnership off as many balls and looking comfortable.

Warwickshire even celebrated a wicket that wasn’t when Vince pulled out of a delivery outside off-stump (albeit, slightly late!) But even that couldn’t shake the batsman who reached his 50 (off 57 balls) in the 17th over – silencing a typically – but increasingly - noisy Edgbaston crowd; Hampshire through the 100 mark in the process. 

Just after the half-way stage in the innings, a cut Ervine four brought up the 100 partnership (102 runs off 105 balls) and yet, with Hampshire on 126-1, they still hadn’t swung the game in their favour – the Bears, too, had been on 126 after 21 overs, albeit with three wickets down.

When Ervine (47) was trapped lbw by Patel he had taken his side half-way to their target - Hampshire 138-2 with 136 to get. But it was at this point that Patel, who finished with 3-41 made his mark and Hampshire were left picking up scraps.

An enterprising unbeaten knock of 24 from Michael Bates was a highlight in the overs that remained but Hampshire fell short, all out with four balls to go.

Words: Simon Vincent


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