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Saturday, 22 June, 2002, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Bell leads Bears to victory
Benson & Hedges Cup Final, Lord's: Warwickshire 182-5 (36.3 overs) beat Essex 181-8 (50 overs) by five wickets
Ian Bell led the way for Warwickshire as they made light work of chasing 182 against Essex in the last ever B&H Cup final at Lord's.
Bell was the top-scorer in the match with 65, to receive the Gold Award and once again put his name forward for inclusion in the England squad.
Essex bowled as badly as they had batted despite removing both openers with just 21 on the board and Bell took advantage, first with Jim Troughton and then Shaun Pollock.
Together with fellow youngster Troughton, Bell added 84 for the third wicket, in a partnership that turned the match on its head.
The pair brutalised a lightweight Essex attack, taking advantage of the width offered them with a series of scorching drives.
Troughton, who had made an impressive 37 from 33 balls tried one too many shots in the end, flashing at a wide ball from Graham Napier to give Andy Flower the catch.
Bell was unfazed as he and Pollock added a further 53 runs, albeit at a slower rate, as Warwickshire coasted to victory.
However, the South African captain Pollock decided to open his arms with victory in sight, top edging a slog off Ronnie Irani to Jon Dakin at mid-on for 34.
Trevor Penney also showed the same attacking intention but lasted only three balls before falling lbw to John Stephenson.
Bell retained his cool though, seeing his side to their target and their second Benson and Hedges Cup win with almost fourteen overs to spare.
Earlier, Essex crumbled under the pressure of the big occasion, stuttering to just 181 for right from their 50 overs on a blameless pitch.
Essex had won 10 out of 11 one-day matches so far this season but when asked to bat by Warwickshire skipper Mike Powell, they had no answer to an inspired performance in the field by the Bears.
The tone was set in the very first over as England captain Nasser Hussain lasted only two balls, edging his South African counterpart Shaun Pollock behind to keeper Keith Piper.
Graham Napier and Darren Robinson rode the storm for a while, trying to get some impetus into the innings despite a typically tight spell from Pollock.
However, the pair were parted in bizarre fashion when Napier failed to make his ground in time after being sent back, despite looking comfortable.
Things went from bad to worse from that point on as John Stephenson found the stumps with an inside edge from the very next ball and Robinson perished top-edging an attempted pull to cover.
At that point Essex were 40 for four with their hopes firmly pinned on captain Ronnie Irani and overseas star Andy Flower.
Irani, called up to the England one-day side after some spectacular form this season, failed to reproduce it when most needed, taking 33 balls over his nine before losing patience and holing out to mid-off.
A partnership of 25 between Flower and Aftab Habib threatened a revival for Essex but their hopes were dashed when Flower (30) found a faint edge down the leg side off the bowling of Neil Smith.
Singles were all that were available to Essex from then on, but they continued to lose wickets whenever anybody tried to up the pace.
Habib fell to Ashley Giles, chipping to midwicket having made 19, and Jon Dakin top-edged to wide mid-on for 12.
That Essex managed to get past 150, was down to the batting of Paul Grayson, who worked the ball around for his 38.
Together with tail-ender Ashley Cowan (27), Grayson added 47 for the ninth wicket to take Essex to 181 for eight but on a sound surface that is unlikely to be enough.
Essex: N Hussain, D D J Robinson, G R Napier, A Flower (Wkt), R C Irani (Capt), A Habib, A P Grayson, J M Dakin, J P Stephenson, A P Cowan, A J Clarke.
Warwickshire: M J Powell (capt), N V Knight, I R Bell, J O Troughton, T L Penney, S M Pollock, D R Brown, N M K Smith, A F Giles, K Piper (wkt), N M Carter.
Umpires: B Dudleston and J H Hampshire
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