In partnership with Lord Combustion, we're looking at some of the best performances from a Bear in a one day final.
And whilst this isn’t a final – we make the rules – it certainly had a feel to it on 14 September 1997 (we have also have the footage to boot).
In 1995, Allan Donald said his 88 championship wickets at 15.48 apiece as his ‘peak’ as the Bears backed up their treble-winning year in 1994 with a double the following year.
Donald, now a world wide star, would miss ’96, play in ’97 and return in ’99. Arriving as a young boy from Bloemfontein with no English skills, he became a fast bowling icon dubbed ‘White Lightning’ and with Warwickshire were seeing him far less, certain moments become more cherished.
Step forward to the 1997 Sunday League. Having lost their season opener to Glamorgan, a group of experience and youth won 12 of 16 games to set-up a Donald swansong.
Knowing his lack of availability for the following year, Edgbaston was packed in anticipation as A.D. could lift another trophy . With a higher run-rate, Warwickshire sat above Kent in the standings and all eyes returned to Birmingham as news filtered out that Kent had lost to Yorkshire at Headingley.
Warwickshire just needed a win against Gloucestershire, but a slightly sub-par total of 221/6 (Knight 102) from 40 overs, meant the home fans couldn’t count their chickens.
Enter Donald whose four wickets (4/24), alongside Ashley Giles’ 4/25, removed the tail and secured a 71-run win.
A pitch invasion ensued as Donald was hoisted up by the crowd. On the balcony, chants of ‘Super Allan Donald’ were heard by the crowd standing below. Donald would lift the trophy alongside Tim Munton, his final Bears moment for 18 months.
“It was a very special day,” said Donald. “We knew that the pressure was on us, but we always felt we could get over the line.
“Edgbaston will always be home to me and the support that day was incredible. It certainly sticks out in my memory.”
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