In this week's Greatest Ever Bears vote we turn the spotlight on those great occasions, Lord's Finals.
Over the years, Warwickshire have been involved in some brilliant finals at the home of cricket, some of the best involving any counties . Which of these five classics gets your vote as the Greatest Ever?
September 3, 1966 – Gillette Cup
Beat Worcestershire by 5 wickets
The Bears’ first victory in a Lord’s final came at the expense of their arch-rivals “in a tense finish which roused the capacity crowd of 24,000 to lusty cheering for both teams,” according to Wisden.
How to approach one-day cricket, a recent innovation, was still being worked out by the players, especially the batsmen, most of whom paid the bowlers great respect until the closing overs. Worcestershire’s 155 for eight from 60 overs looks minuscule today but was about par in 1966.
After the Bears, led by Tom Cartwright (12-4-16-3), David Brown (12-2-27-1), Jack Bannister (12-3-27-1) and Rudi Webster (12-2-28-1), bowled skilfully, Bob Barber (66) and Dennis Amiss (44) lifted the Bears to 130 for two before a collapse to 138 for five.
Enter captain Alan Smith who was dropped on nought but capitalised to score all the remaining 21 runs to take his side home with 20 balls to spare to the delight of the watching Bears hordes.
September 2, 1989 – NatWest Bank Trophy
Beat Middlesex by 4 wickets
Plenty of great games, innings and bowling feats live long in the memory, but very few individual shots enter the realms of legend. This match was settled by one that did.
After Middlesex made 210 for five (Desmond Haynes 50, Dermot Reeve 12-4-27-1), the Bears made uneven progress towards their target. Alvin Kallicharran’s departure for a duck left them 26 for two so Andy Lloyd (34) and Geoff Humpage (36) had to rebuild.
Paul Smith (24), Dermot Reeve (42) and Asif Din (34 not out) then kept their side in the game but it was tilting Middlesex’s way when, in fading light, five balls remained and nine runs were still required.
All day, nobody had hit a six. Until now.
In went Simon Hughes from the Nursery End and Neil Smith launched him back over his head high into the crowd. The Bears fans went wild, the back of the chase was broken. Two balls later, Smith and Din scampered two and Warwickshire were home with two balls to spare.
September 4, 1993 – NatWest Bank Trophy
Beat Sussex by 5 wickets
When Sussex piled up 321 for six from 60 overs, most people thought ‘game over.’ Such totals were almost unheard of. Certainly, chasing them down was.
Game over? Nobody told the Bears.
In a brilliant collective effort, they overhauled the total from the very last ball: 322 for five.
When Dermot Reeve’s side hit 18 for two, it looked game over more than ever, but a composed partnership of 75 between Dominic Ostler (25) and Paul Smith (60) laid the foundation for the sensation ahead. Then came Asif Din with the innings of his career (106) and the ever-combative Reeve (81 not out) in a scintillating stand of 142.
It came down to 15 needed from the final over by Franklyn Stephenson. After Reeve collected 13 from five balls, Roger Twose, facing his first ball, had to find two from the last…and he lifted the ball joyfully over the covers to round off a truly magnificent cricket match.
September 18, 2010 – Clydesdale Bank 40
Beat Somerset by 3 wickets
In the big games, a team looks for leadership from its big players. Imran Tahir and Ian Bell truly delivered with a devastating five-for and brilliant century respectively.
Somerset batted first and, at 176 for three with Nick Compton and James Hildreth closing in on a century stand and the powerplay ahead, looked set for a hefty total. But Hildreth was run out by Jonathan Trott and then Tahir spun the innings into ruin with a burst of five for nine in 14 balls.
He uprooted Compton and removed Jos Buttler for a duck, going on to finish with five for 41 as Somerset were 199 all out, their last seven wickets having fallen for 23.
Still, in awkward conditions in the first floodlit final, 200 was no formality and the Bears made uneven progress – 39 for three, 135 for five. But captain Bell played magnificently, timing the pursuit perfectly, first shoring up then launching a blistering counter-attack, racing from 87 to 107 in six balls. A true captain’s innings.
September 17, 2016 – Royal London Cup
Beat Surrey by 8 wickets
This was far from a close final but, for the Bears, pretty much the perfect day. They dominated on the field and off it – captain Ian Bell said he never heard Warwickshire’s fans in better voice, their victory songs filling Lord’s as the Bears cruised home.
Surrey chose to bat and started briskly, 45 without loss in eight overs, before Jason Roy was brilliantly caught by Laure Evans. From that moment, it was Warwickshire’s day. Chris Wright (6-1-17-1) and Ateeq Javid (5-0-15-2) reined in the scoring and took three big wickets. Olly Hannon-Dalby (8-0-27-2), Jeetan Patel (9-1-28-2) and Chris Woakes (9.1-2-24-2) maintained the pressure to rattle Surrey out for 136.
Jonathan Trott then made the chase a one-man mission with a superbly-skilled unbeaten 82 (110 balls, ten fours). An opening stand of 45 with Sam Hain denied Surrey the early wickets they desperately needed before Trott and Tim Ambrose steered their side home with nearly 20 overs to spare as the Bears fans larged it memorably in Warwickshire’s last ever Lord’s final.
Cast your vote
To vote for Warwickshire’s Greatest Lord’s Final, simply complete the below form. Everyone who submits their vote will be entered into a prize draw to win a signed Warwickshire shirt.
Voting closes at 5pm on Tuesday 23 June and the winner will be announced on Wednesday.