Warwickshire won the Royal London One-day Cup at Lord's in emphatic style on Saturday (September 17th), defeating Surrey by eight wickets.
Many past September finals have been similarly one-sided after the team batting first struggled with the bat. However, these have been due to dewy autumnal conditions giving the side winning the toss - who invariably bowled - an undue advantage.
This time, however, the unusually dry and warm weather prompted Surrey to bat after winning the toss, and the decision appeared amply justified as openers Jason Roy and Steven Davies took them to 41-0 after six overs.
Even after the pair were dismissed, Surrey continued to make good progress, reaching 99-2 before a dramatic collapse set in.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby triggered the slide by having star man Kumar Sangakkara caught behind, before trapping wicketkeeper Ben Foakes lbw.
Thereafter, it was a procession as wickets tumbled, despite Rory Burns weighing in with 40. Surrey were eventually dismissed for 137 with eight overs and five balls to spare.
Warwickshire's chase was led by former England batsman Jonathan Trott, who made a composed unbeaten 82. He and Sammy Hain put on 45 for the first wicket and although skipper Ian Bell only made 17, Surrey needed an equally sensational collapse to revive their chances. It never came, however, and Trott hit the winning runs at 16:10 in the afternoon.
Paying tribute to his former international team-mate, Bell said: "If there’s one guy in world cricket, if you’re chasing a smallish total, that you’d want to bat for you then Trotty is your man."
This was the final limited overs match of the English domestic season, but fans looking ahead to next season can be very excited as there is the chance to enjoy corporate hospitality during ICC Champions Trophy matches at the Kia Oval and Edgbaston.
With the season drawing to its end, this week will see a potentially dramatic climax to the LV= County Championship, as Yorkshire face Middlesex in an exciting head-to-head encounter that may decide whether the trophy returns to Lord's, or stays at Headingley for a third successive year. Middlesex lead the table by nine points going into the match, so a draw will be enough for them unless Somerset win well and spirit the title away to Taunton.
By Keith Prowse