Warwickshire land glorious domestic double with Bob Willis Trophy win
Warwickshire sealed a historic first-class double as they claimed the Bob Willis Trophy with an emphatic innings-and-199-run victory over Lancashire at Lord’s.
Requiring four wickets to collect another honour a week after being crowned winners of the LV= Insurance County Championship, Warwickshire took just 70 minutes on day four to bring the curtain down on the English season.
Resuming on 171 for six, Lancashire needed 269 runs just to make their opponents bat again and while there was some spirit among their lower order, particularly Luke Wood (28) and Tom Bailey (24), they subsided to 241 all out.
In truth, the Red Rose, the championship runners-up, were second favourites after they slipped to 12 for six on the opening morning and while they battled to 78, Warwickshire racked up 518 to underline their champion status.
Danny Briggs and Liam Norwell finished with three wickets apiece in Lancashire’s second innings as Warwickshire scooped a trophy named in honour of their ex-fast bowler, who served the Bears with distinction from 1972 to 1984.
Willis, a former England quick renowned for his acerbic and forthright wit off the field, might have had something to say about the first-class season stretching into October but would have been pleased about the outcome here.
Any thought of victory for Lancashire had long since evaporated when Rob Jones and Wood came out to bat on an overcast Friday morning, now only seeking to avoid their heaviest ever first-class loss.
Some lusty blows from their lower order ensured they progressed past the innings-and-220-run defeat at the hands of the West Indies in 1950.
Warwickshire had to wait 11 overs for the initial breakthrough but it came courtesy of their first-class debutant Manraj Johal, whose fuller length delivery clattered into the leg stump of Wood, shuffling across his crease.
Jones missed a tentative prod forward and was struck on the back leg by slow left-armer Briggs, who had Jack Blatherwick stumped in his next over after the tail-end batter attempted to club his second six.
Bailey’s 24 off 23 balls ensured Lancashire surpassed their heaviest defeat by a county – which remains an innings-and-200-run loss to Yorkshire in 1938.
But the ball after thumping his fourth four, Bailey got a top-edge to Norwell, with wicketkeeper Michael Burgess darting towards fine-leg to complete a sensational diving catch and bring the match to an end.
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