England Domestic: Benson & Hedges Cup 1996 - Semifinal Northamptonshire v Warwickshire

England Domestic: Benson & Hedges Cup 1996 - Semifinal Northamptonshire v Warwickshire

Post by Vicky B. Vigneswar » Thu, 13 Jun 1996 04:00:00

Benson & Hedges Cup 1996 - Semifinal
Northamptonshire v Warwickshire
11, 12 June

====> REPORT

12 June 1996

Emburey holds key to success for Northants

By Christopher Martin-Jenkins at Northampton

Warwicks (91-3) need 130 runs to beat Northants (220-7)

IT WAS not clear, when the sixth shower of a grey and  windy  day
brought a full stop to a nicely poised contest yesterday evening,
whether Northamptonshire or Warwickshire would be contesting  the
final   on   July  13. Given a fine  morning the odds are that it
will be Warwickshire, who were pursuing with relish  a  Northants
total of 220 for seven  when  the rain set in.

With seven wickets in hand they will need  a  further  130  today
from  26  overs and four  balls.  Dominic  Ostler  and Paul Smith
(18 off 11 balls so far) will continue a promising stand, content
in  the  knowledge that a thoroughly committed Curtly Ambrose has
bowled six of his  10  overs  without  a wicket so far. Much  may
depend  on  the  postponed spell of off-spin by John Emburey, who
said yesterday that he intended to concentrate full-time  on  his
role  as  manager/coach in the second half of the season.

The performance of several very promising cricketers on the staff
has  no  doubt encouraged him. It was a partnership of 108 by Tim
Walton and Tony  Penberthy,   the   highest   for  the  Northants
seventh   wicket   in 33 years of one-day competition, which gave
Warwickshire a much  more  serious  challenge than looked  likely
when   they   took   the  sixth  home  wicket with only 88 on the
board and a mere 19 overs left.

The recovery was achieved by two players rapidly   emerging  from
the  long  shadows  of  county cricket. Walton, the  23- year-old
right-hander preferred only at the  last  moment  to Alan   Ford-
ham,  has  filled  out  and gained confidence  while spending his
last two winters in New Zealand. He batted  with power and ortho-
dox   flair  yesterday,  striking  five  fours and two sixes over
long off.

Penberthy is a classic example of the importance  of assurance in
a  cricketer.  It has taken the Cornish all-rounder a long time -
he first played for Northants in  1989  -  to  convince  everyone
that  he is more a batsman  who  bowls  than vice versa.  The new
team of Emburey and Rob Bailey asked him  to open the innings  in
the  second  game of the  pre-season  tour, which did wonders for
his self-belief.

The need for all but two men to  remain  within  the  circle  for
the  first 15 overs was of no consequence  as  Bailey and Richard
Montgomerie looked to build a base

As the only left-hander   among   those   with   serious  batting
pretensions, there was a case for his  coming  in  a place higher
than he did yesterday,  to  disrupt  the immaculate  straightness
of   line  which was the feature of Warwickshire`s early bowling.
Well as he and Walton played in their record stand, the fact that
the line constantly needed to be changed helped them greatly.

Hitherto the bowlers had held the  initiative  after Dermot Reeve
had  chosen to take the field first on  a  dry, bare pitch.  Like
many at Northampton it played  better  than  it looked and it was
firm enough for the ball to go through  quite quickly, especially
for those operating from the pavilion end with a southerly  blus-
ter behind.

As many wickets fell at the other end, however,    including  the
first  when David Capel edged Dougie Brown  to  slip.  Andy Moles
juggled with the ball before flipping  it  to  Keith Piper,  like
a   No  8 feeding his scrum-half. The need for all but two men to
remain within the circle for the first 15 overs was of no  conse-
quence  as Bailey and Richard Montgomerie looked to build a base,
but Bailey was  starting  to  fret when  he missed  a  drive   at
Graeme  Welch  and only Montgomerie, running like a hare and pul-
ling with relish, kept the scoreboard moving  for long.

It might not have been so had Mal Loye not  taken  a chance  with
Trevor  Penney`s  electric speed  and  paid  the  same penalty as
so many have before,  including  Penberthy  when these sides  met
in the second Lord`s final last  year.  Sprinting  left and fizz-
ing the ball to the top  of  the stumps  he  started   a   crisis
which   increased  when  Kevin Curran  wafted  across  the  line,
Montgomerie cut Paul Smith to deep third man in  his  first  over
and   Russell  Warren  was skilfully   caught   by   Piper.  Like
Montgomerie, Warren was surprised by   Smith`s   extra  pace  and
bounce,   top edged  a hook  and  saw  Piper  dashing half-way to
the fine-leg boundary to take the skyer.

Warwickshire had Moles to thank for keeping  Ambrose at bay  when
their  turn  came,   though  Neil  Smith  hit  him twice for off-
side fours as he gave himself room  before  Paul Taylor,  in   an
excellent  new-ball spell into the wind, had Smith caught at slip
and then brought a ball  back  to  bowl Brown.  Northants had   a
bonus eight overs later when Moles cut a  long-hop gently to cov-
er, but they will need the rub of the  green  if they are to  de-
fend their total successfully today.

Source :: Electronic Telegraph (http.//www.telegraph.co.uk)

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