Warwickshire Bears v Northants Steelbacks, Yorkshire Bank 40
With nothing at stake for the Bears in the 2013 YB40 competition, but with Northamptonshire still holding hopes of qualification for the semi-final stages, two people dominated the final match of the season at Edgbaston.
Darren Maddy making his final appearance for the Bears in one-day cricket before retirement and after having made the toss, lead the Bears out to the appreciation of the Bank Holiday crowd enjoying the late summer sunshine.
Unfortunately on the field, Darren’s day was slightly spoiled by a superb display of aggression from Northamptonshire opener David Willey who following his man-of-the-match performance on the same ground in the Twenty20 Final against Surrey just nine days earlier, continued to display his liking for the ground with a superb one hundred and sixty seven scored off just one hundred and one deliveries.
Against a weakened Warwickshire attack, with none of the regular opening bowlers available through injury or international duty, Willey smashed 10 sixes and 12 fours in a vicious onslaught that took the match away from Warwickshire almost before the end of the opening power-play.
Well supported by David sales 31, Ben Duckett 30 and at the end of the innings, a maiden half century from Rob Keogh 61*, Northamptonshire posted a huge 324-6 from their forty overs after winning the toss and batting.
For the Bears, who used seven different bowlers, there was little to savour with the bowling attack, Jeetan Patel’s 2-32 from his eight overs, as Recordo Gordon 1-76, Tom Milnes 2-73 and all others being savagely treated, as the ball flew to all parts of the ground.
In reply and with a mountain to climb for victory, the Bears lost Varun Chopra 11, in the fifth over, before a cameo innings from William Porterfield 44 from forty three balls was ended when he lost his off stump to Steven Crook.
Freddie Coleman 34, Laurie Evans 22 and Ateeq Javid 33 all made starts, but no-one was able to match the hitting power and timing of Willey’s innings and with the rate slipping into double figures per over, wickets tumbled, including Darren Maddy, given a corridor of appreciation by the Northamptonshire players as he reached the edge of the square, when he making his final appearance. Unfortunately their generosity lasted only three balls before Murphy’s sharp leg-side stumping rather spoiled the party to send Darren back to the pavilion for just a single at the end of a tremendous career for Leicestershire, Warwickshire and England.
Four wickets for Azharullah and two for former Bear, Lee Daggett, also retiring from first-class cricket at the end of the season, destroyed the Warwickshire innings that finally ended when Recordo Gordon’s stumps were scattered with the final total of 199 all out from 31.1 overs, leaving the visitors comprehensive victors by one hundred and twenty five runs, bringing down the curtain on a miserable YB40 season for the Bears.