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Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Sunday, 27 September 2009 18:31 UK

Warwicks win Pro40 Div Two title

PRO40 DIVISION TWO, Old Trafford:
Warwickshire 167-7 beat Lancashire 166 by three wickets
(Warwicks 2pts)


Warwickshire celebrate winning Pro40 Division Two
Warwickshire claimed the Division Two title off the last ball of the season

Warwickshire left it to the last ball of the season to lift some silverware by taking the Pro40 Division Two title.

Jonathan Trott top scored with 86 out of 167-7 as the Bears beat Lancashire by three wickets at Old Trafford.

Victory came only after a last-over wobble that saw Trott pouched by Gary Keedy, before Ant Botha was run out.

But Rikki Clarke kept his nerve to earn the Bears, Division Two winners in the County Championship last year, another success for coach Ashley Giles.

Going into the final over, the Bears needed only five to win, a task made harder when Keedy had Trott caught by Stephen Parry off the first ball.

Botha came in to hit his first ball for four to seemingly settle it by leaving just one needed off four balls.

But still there was drama.

Botha failed to scored off the next delivery before being run out off the fourth ball of the over.

Clarke's attempt to get a winning single off the penultimate ball of the match was then thwarted.

But, amidst scenes of great tension, he and Keith Barker finally scrambled the winning single off the last ball.

An experimental Lancashire side, missing the likes of captain Glen Chapple, Mal Loye, VVS Laxman and Francois du Plessis, were skittled for just 166 in the 40th over after they batted first.

Left-arm seamer Barker led the way for the Bears with 3-23 from 5.5 overs and Neil Carter, Ant Botha and Steffan Piolet all took two.

After slumping to 47-4, Steven Croft (70) and Gareth Cross tried to resuscitate the innings with a fifth-wicket partnership of 63 in 13 overs.

But, after Cross was lbw trying to paddle sweep medium pacer Piolet, Steven Mullaney and Kyle Hogg fell in quick succession to left-arm spinner Botha.

And, although Croft hit Piolet for three straight sixes in four balls, he perished attempting another in the 38th.

Warwickshire lost pinchhitter Neil Carter early in their chase, brilliantly caught by Mullaney diving backwards from slip off Sajid Mahmood just a ball after dropping Trott off Hogg.

Trott then shared an important second-wicket partnership of 61 in 12 overs with Ian Bell, who reached 28 off 35 balls before pulling left-arm spinner Keedy straight to Chilton at midwicket.

Keedy picked up a second wicket when Jim Troughton pulled him to Parry on the deep leg-side boundary.

And, when Parry trapped Tim Ambrose lbw, the visitors were 88-4 in the 21st.

Trott then reached his third fifty of the competition off 67 balls and, while he was there, the Bears were always in control.

After sharing 48 for the fifth wicket with skipper Ian Westwood, the Bears looked home and hosed. But they were made to sweat a bit more in that nerve-shredding final over.


Warwickshire skipper Ian Westwood told BBC Radio WM:

"We made hard work of it. But it was a great feeling to get over the line.

"We were tense, knowing it was a game we had to win, the pitch was slow and helped the spinners and the medium pacers who were also making it grip.

"And they took advantage of us being tense.

"We've got to remember it's only Division Two we've won. And we're nowhere near the finished article.

"But it's been a long, hard season, we've come close in quite a few competitions and it's nice to pick to be able to pick up a bit of silverware and go away happy."



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