Sam Hain’s magnificent unbeaten 161 and a brilliant opening spell of 7-3-17-3 from Jeetan Patel lifted Warwickshire to a 34-run win over Worcestershire in the Royal London Cup at Blackfinch New Road.
The Bears will visit Derbyshire on Tuesday with their 50-over campaign up and running at last after a highly entertaining victory over their old rivals.
They piled up 315 for five thanks to Hain’s 161 (141 balls, ten fours , six sixes). It was dazzling knock from the 23-year-old and his tenth List A century from 54 innings – a remarkable ratio. Having surpassed his previous List A best (145 for England Lions v West Indies A at Derby last year), he received a standing ovation from the New Road crowd.
After Hain had lifted the Bears to their highest List A total against Worcestershire, the home side galloped to 86 without loss in the 12th over but then collapsed to 104 for five in the face of Patel’s wizardry. The home side’s late order hit boldly to take their side to 281 but the Bears kept their nerve to close out victory.
Warwickshire welcomed back all-rounders Aaron Thomason and Henry Brookes while Alex Mellor came in behind the stumps with Tim Ambrose ruled out for an expected seven-to-ten days by a sore hip.
After choosing to bat, the Bears soon lost openers Ed Pollock and Dom Sibley, caught at third man and mid-wicket respectively. When Will Rhodes (20, 29 balls) fell to an exceptional catch by wicketkeeper Ben Cox off Will Parnell, the Bears were 62 for three and Hain needed support. Liam Banks and Alex Thomson provided it.
Hain and Banks (44, 52 balls, three fours, one six) added 99 in 17 overs and the latter was within six of his second half-century in this year’s tournament when he edged an attempt to glide Morris to third man. Thomson (33, 41 balls two fours) then played intelligently in a stand of 103 in 14 overs during which Hain accelerated spectacularly.
Having hit one six in his first hundred, he cleared the ropes five times in his next fifty. Warwickshire plundered 100 from the last ten overs as Hain and Thomason (23, 15 balls) blasted 51 from the last 27 balls.
Worcestershire’s reply got off to a flier as Hamish Rutherford and Rikki Wessels added 86 in 74 balls but then came a clatter of four wickets for four runs in 26 balls. Patel made the crucial breakthrough when he turned one into Wessels’ stumps. Rutherford then gloved Thomason down the leg side to Mellor, Daryl Mitchell was run out by a direct hit from Hain and Brett D’Oliveira charged and missed at Patel.
Patel struck a third time when Cox swept to square-leg where Thomson took a sharp, low catch and Olly Hannon-Dalby added two wickets as Ross Whiteley chipped to mid on and Ed Barnard edged behind.
From 145 for seven, Worcestershire counter-attacked vigorously through Tom Fell (53, 67 balls), Parnell (76, 57) and Josh Tongue (34, 21) but Fell fell when he jammed a Patel delivery into the ground and Mellor reacted quickly to remove the bails.
Tongue skied Thomson to long off and when Parnell holed out to deep mid-wicket, the Bears’ victory was banked.
Edgbaston Foundation Community Fun Day
A day of fun for the whole family! Edgbaston Foundation’s Community Fun Day will this year take place for the Royal London One-Day Cup match against Lancashire on Saturday 4 May, with Adults only £2 and Under-16s FREE.
The day will offer free family entertainment, including inflatables and face painting, and cricket with Warwickshire in 50-over action starting at 11am.Book Tickets