And, as Lord’s starts to pull on its woolly socks and thermal vest, time just for me to thank Graham and Geoff and Simon and Ali and everyone at the office for keeping this blog going since April. Thanks to all the county cricketers for a wonderful season and thanks to you, for reading, emailing, BTL-ing, the works. To Warwickshire, the spoils. May winter hold some sweetness. Goodbye!
Some nice words by both captains at the presentation.
Dane Vilas: “The body is a bit tired, especially these last five weeks have been really tough. I think the boys are a little bit upset with me for losing the toss but Warwickshire bowled really well, and it was really hard to come back from 12-6.”
“We’ve had a roller coaster of emotions but we were really keen to come here and win the trophy for Bob. It is a little bit disappointing the way we played but all credit to Warwickshire, deserved champions of both trophies.”
Will Rhodes: ”It has been a roller coaster of a few weeks, losing to Hampshire, winning three games in a row, really proud of the guys.”
“I think just coming here to Lord’s is motivation enough, a trophy on the line, and bringing the Bob Willis trophy back to his spiritual home.”
A bit of cardboard signage is put up outside the pavilion, where I guess they’re going to present the Bob. We’re not allowed over there, but I think that’s Bob Willis’ wife Lauren Clark and Will Rhodes standing next to the trophy. Fifty or so mournful spectators are still sitting in the Grandstand
WICKET! Bailey c Burgess b Norwell 24 (Lancashire 241 all out) Warwickshire win by an innings and 199 runs
What a finish! A sprinting, diving, balletic two-handed gobble by Burgess off a top-edge from Bailey. The players shake hands and the summer draws to a close.
WICKET! Blatherwick st Burgess b Briggs 11 (Lancashire 233-9)
A lusty gallop, a swing, and bails neatly swept off.
Lancs avoid their biggest ever defeat and Blatherwick gets stuck in and thrashes his third ball for six.
More depressing news from Yorkshire, who still haven’t sent that report to the ECB. How long can it take to redact some names?
WICKET! Jones lbw Briggs 18 (Lancashire 212-8)
Pitching on leg, zipping in, and the season’s curtains are twitching.
WICKET! Wood b Johal 28 (Lancashire 195-7)
A leg-stump whirlygig.
The sun has suddenly sprung into action, lighting up Manraj Johal who has had quite the debut, wicketless this innings, but three in the first and a merry 19 with the bat. This game will never seem pointless to him. And as I type that, he has a wicket!
Today is the start of Clare Connor’s one-year tenure as MCC president - the first woman to hold the post in the MCC’s 234 year history.
Bruce Carnegie-Brown becomes the sixth Chairman of MCC at the same time.
An email arrives...”Any chance you could put the game out of its misery?” Lancashire are nothing if not surprising, but even the loyalist fan would struggle to believe Jones, Wood, Bailey, Blatherwick and Parkinson could bat out the day. Surely.
Good morning from Lord’s and county cricket on October 1! The skies are suitably frowning but play will start on time unless the rain starts again. Lancashire still need another 48 to avoid their heaviest ever defeat; Warwickshire want just four more wickets to complete their County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy double and become the undisputed red-ball champions of the UK.