Bears Beat Hampshire in T20 Nail-Biter


Keith Cook updates from Barbados as the Warwickshire Bears record a victory over Hampshire by 6 wickets in a close finish at the Bridgetown Oval as the team begin defending the trophy won last March in great style.

With the squad selected for the evenings T20 game against Hampshire, the remaining squad members headed off to Windward Cricket Club again for a strenuous net session to keep everyone in shape and ready for consideration in the remaining games.

By 2pm we were heading off towards the Bridgetown Oval with a full contingent on board and raring to go. The Oval is a superb stadium and it’s easy to imagine the amazing atmosphere that must exist around the place during a big international match.

After warm ups Jim Troughton led his side out to field against the Hampshire side – who had been competing against us on Monday and Tuesday in the 2-day game – so we had a pretty good idea what their fire power was.
The first wicket fell in the 3rd over when Michael Carberry was caught by Jim Troughton off the bowling of Neil Carter for 13 runs. James Vince went next for just 4 runs caught by Richard Johnson off Chris Wright – and at that stage Hampshire were 23 for 2.

Spinner Paul Best was the next to get amongst the wickets as he had James Adams caught by Keith Barker on the boundary for 17. Liam Dawson and Sean Ervine steadied the ship with a 90 run partnership and it was not until the 19th over that the 4th wicket fell as Dawson was caught by Rikki Clarke off the bowling of Neil Carter for 44. By the end of their 20 overs Hampshire had scored 162 for 5 with Sean Ervine on 81 not out. So 163 to win for the Bears.

Warwickshire Bowling figures: Neil Carter (4-0-29-2), Chris Wright (3-0-30-1), Keith Barker (3-0-23-1), Chris Woakes (3-0-31-0), Paul Best (3-0-20-1) and Steff Piolet (4-0-29-0).

Darren Maddy and Varun Chopra opened the batting for the Bears as the floodlights started to take effect.

First wicket to fall was Varun Chopra caught off the bowling of Sean Ervine for 22 at the end of the 5th over. Keith Barker was the next man in with the score on 40 for 1 but he was stumped for 14 with the total on 59 for 2 in the 8th over so the captain was next in.

Darren Maddy was caught by Bates off Carberry’s bowling for 38 with the score on 83 for 3, and with 12 overs gone Rikki Clarke was next in.

Jim Troughton was the next to depart – bowled for 14 – and made way for Chris Woakes to bat next.

At the end of the 15th over Warwickshire needed 51 to win with 6 wickets in hand. Chris Woakes was dropped by Michael Carberry as the ball was lost in the glare of the floodlights. With 3 overs left the Bears needed 27 off 18 balls but we were staying on course all the time, matching the Duckworth Lewis par score at every over.

Chris Woakes was dropped a further twice as he sought to punish the bowlers along with his batting, whilst partner Rikki Clarke smashed a huge 6 in the final over taking our total to 158, needing just 4 runs to win off 3 balls. Two mighty blows and the Bears were home and dry.

So we are off and running with a semi final against Leicestershire at Four Square Cricket Club – 3pm start UK.

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