Report by Brian Halford
WARWICKSHIRE maintained their challenge for Royal London Cup qualification by cruising to a nine-wicket win over Leicestershire at Edgbaston on Sunday.
Jonathan Trott (102 not out, 121 balls, nine fours) and Sam Hain (69 not out, 87 balls, five fours) eased the Bears to victory and handed the visitors a sixth successive defeat.
The Foxes were punished for wasting first use of an excellent batting track. After winning the toss, Leicestershire reached a relatively promising 135 for three in the 24th over but collapsed to 207 all out.
While Mark Cosgrove (60, 58 balls, ten fours) and Colin Ackermann (57, 68, seven fours, one six) were together, a strong total looked achievable but after Olly Stone dismissed Cosgrove the last seven wickets fell for 72 runs in 19 overs.
Stone took three for 44 and Aaron Thomason three for 45 before limping off with a side strain during his final over.
Warwickshire made light work of their small target. Ed Pollock smashed 33 from 18 balls before Trott and Sam Hain added an unbroken 159 in 31 overs.
“We played a very good all-round game. We would have batted first because it looked a good wicket so to bowl them out for 207 was a very good effort,” said Trott.
“The seamers deserve a lot of credit and then Jeetan Patel backed them up really well.
“It was pleasing to score a century. It is always nice to back up good performances and Belly and I had a big partnership at Durham the other night so do the same with Sam Hain, who is the future of the club, today, is fantastic. Now we are all really excited about a big game against Worcestershire on Thursday when hopefully we will have a chance of finishing top.”
On a good pitch, Leicestershire hit early trouble at seven for two after captain Paul Horton steered Keith Barker to second slip and Neil Dexter sent a return catch to Stone. Cameron Delport hit four successive fours off Stone but then skied a pull at Barker to leave the Foxes 31 for three.
Cosgrove and Ackermann got the innings going with a stand of 104 in 17 overs, Cosgrove passing 50 for the fourth successive match before miscuing Stone to mid-off. Thereafter the innings tailed off dramatically.
Ackerman lifted Thomason for six over long on then tried to repeat the blow next ball and found only the hands of mid on. Thomason dismissed Lewis Hill lbw, Tom Wells was trapped in front by Jeetan Patel and Zak Chappell spliced a pull at Thomason to short mid-wicket.
After Stone rattled Dieter Klein’s stumps with a yorker, last pair Callum Parkinson and Gavin Griffiths had 66 balls at their disposal. They used 24 of them before Parkinson’s off-stump was knocked out by Henry Brookes.
When Warwickshire replied, Pollock and Trott put 50 on the board in 38 balls, the half-century brought up by six off Chappell for Pollock over fine leg. Chappell soon got his revenge with a yorker into Pollock’s stumps but Trott and Hain were utterly untroubled.
Trott’s second century in successive List A games was greeted by a standing ovation from the big crowd and he went on to escort his side all the way to a win which sets up a mouth-watering group finale against old rivals Worcestershire at Edgbaston on Thursday.