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Golden match in a golden year Published: 15 September 2012

In the 50th year of one-day finals at Lord's, the two best teams in the country served up one of the best climaxes to any final, as Hampshire lifted the CB40 trophy.

Neither side deserved to lose, and as it turned out neither did. But Hampshire were the ones to return home with a second trophy of the 2012 season after a last ball dot secured a tie - cruelly taking the game from Warwickshire's grasp by virtue of the fact they lost more wickets.

It seemed poetic that Neil Carter should hit the winning runs off the last ball - his last for the county he has served so stoically in an up-and-down career. But he missed a full delivery from Kabir Ali, whose magnificent last over included two wickets, and the trophy was heading to the south coast.

As in all classic battles, there were those who didn't deserve to be on the losing team. Chief amongst them was Ian Bell, who fell for 81 just as he appeared to be building another match-winning knock to match his century here in 2010. Bell's scores in four Lord's finals are 65*, 54, 107 and now 81. The Ground and occasion bring the best out of him.

But Hampshire have had one of the finest seasons in their history, following up a stunning triumph in the Friends Life T20 with the CB40.

A pitch taking spin led some to pontificate on the absence of Danny Briggs - a tourist with England's T20 World Cup squad - and to a lesser extent on the loss of Dmitri Mascarenhas. But it wasn't felt.

This Hampshire side is a byword for experience, but it was a combination of the old and young who won this match. Two former internationals in Simon Katich and Sean Ervine combined for the key partnership, reinvigorating an innings which was stalling after the loss of captain Jimmy Adams for 66. They plundered 69 runs in 7.1 overs and the score was given an imposing air which had originally seemed far off.

Hampshire were more-or-less in control in the chase, some fine bowling from Chris Wood, in particular, keeping even Bell on the back foot for most of his innings.

When it came though, the acceleration seemed to have done for the Royals, as Warwickshire's never ending batting pool managed to always find that elusive boundary - two of them in fact for Chris Woakes in the penultimate over off Wood, who finished with 3/39 in eight fine overs.

But there was one more twist. Whether or not Carter had been bowled, stumped or run out (it was in fact a dot ball) remained a mystery for some time, but the wild celebrations from Hants left the crowd in no doubt which side had secured their famous double.


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