In partnership with Lord Combustion, we're taking a look at some of the best performances from a Bear in a white ball final.
In big matches, any team wants it’s big players to step up and lead.
That’s exactly what happened in the 2010 Clydesdale Bank 40 final at Lord’s when Warwickshire’s thrilling three-wicket victory over Somerset was underpinned by the skills of a great batter and a great bowler.
Somerset started the game as favourites and were living up to that tag when they reached 176 for three with plenty of overs in the bank. Then spin king Imran Tahir stepped up…and the westcountrymen plummeted to 199 all out.
In a beguiling spell, Tahir took five for 41 including the big wickets of Jos Buttler and Nick Compton, both lbw. Keith Barker and Neil Carter added two wickets apiece and suddenly the Bears were back in the game.
Two hours later, their army of fans at Lord’s were celebrating victory after their side reached 200 for seven with six balls to spare. From the uneasy foundation of 39 for three, they were lifted by captain Ian Bell’s brilliant 107 (95 balls, 12 fours), supported by Jim Troughton astute 30 and Rikki Clarke brisk 19.
Bell finally fell with just one run needed, at which point his fellow home-grown Bear Chris Woakes came in to score the winning single.
Tahir’s long and mighty career has known much success and many great days, but he regards his Lord’s final win with the Bears as right up there with the best,.
“I remember the game with a lot of special feelings,” he said. “It was a big final for us. Everyone thought Somerset were going to win and we proved them wrong. It was the best final of my career and I was really pleased that I chipped in.
“You always want to do well when you play at Lord’s and luckily I picked up some wickets. I was very pleased to be on the winning side in a Lord’s final.
“Everyone was backing Somerset because, to many people they looked a better side on paper but, on the day we played the better cricket. They were 170 for three and looking at a total of 300 which would have been very difficult to chase but then they were 200 all out. It was a great team effort.
“Ian Bell scored a great hundred. I really respect and admire him and that day he was at his best. We lost some early wickets but he came in and batted beautifully. He is such a class player.
“Then it was nice that Woakesy came in and scored the winning runs. To have home-grown players like Belly and Woakesy coming through to make themselves superstars is something that every county wants and should be very proud of.”
Tahir, meanwhile, had lived up to his big-name tag with one of the most potent bowling spells ever delivered in a Lord’s final.
A case of ‘pressure – what pressure?’
“You are always under pressure in every game you play in professional sport as an overseas player,” he said. “A Lord’s final was just a great opportunity. We had worked so hard to get to the final and winning it was one of the biggest achievements if my career.”
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