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BEARS' OPENERS SINK COUNTY AT EDGBASTON


An opening stand of 180 from Sam Hain and William Porterfield powered Warwickshire to an eight-wicket Royal London One-Day Cup victory over Northamptonshire at Edgbaston.

Northamptonshire posted a solid total of 254 for nine thanks to Alex Wakely (70, 74 balls, five fours, two sixes), Josh Cobb (50, 59 balls, four four, two sixes) and Ben Duckett (46, 55 balls, three fours).

 But Warwickshire, who suffered a pre-match blow when Jonathan Trott was ruled out after hurting his back in the warm-ups, made short work of the chase thanks largely to Hain (88, 108 balls, six fours, one six) and Porterfield (92, 112 balls, 11 fours).

The Bears headed straight off north in good heart for tomorrow's game in Durham while Northamptonshire need to bounce back against Worcestershire at New Road.

After the visitors endured more misfortune with the toss (they have lost it in all six RL Cup games this season) they were put in and started well, passing 100 for just one wicket in the 20th over with partnerships of 48 in eight overs between Cobb and Adam Rosssington and 55 in 13 between Cobb and Duckett.

But they were pegged back by three wickets in 29 balls. Cobb embarked on a single that wasn't there and was calmly run out by Tim Ambrose before Jeetan Patel struck twice in three balls. Duckett, fresh from smashing 220 for England Lions against Sri Lanka A, edged behind and Rob Keogh followed his 134 against Durham with a duck as he fired a return catch back to the spinner.

Wickets continued to fall as Rob Newton was superbly held by Hain at deep square, Steven Crook chipped a sitter to mid-off and Rory Kleinveldt holed out. Wakely reached a 57-ball half-century with a six but after he top-edged Olly Hannon-Dalby to short third-man, the innings subsided quickly.

The total looked a little under par on a good batting track and Porterfield and Hain started purposefully by hitting five fours in the third over, from Kleinveldt. The openers paced the pursuit perfectly and were within ten runs of setting a new Warwickshire limited-overs record opening stand when a total mix-up brought the run out of Porterfield eight runs short of his tenth List A ton.

Hain was trapped in the crease by Azharullah and fell lbw but Laurie Evans (43 not out, 51 balls, six fours) saw his side comfortably home with 12 balls to spare.

"We were definitely about 20 or 30 runs short," commented Ben Duckett afterwards.

"We kept losing wickets throughout and me, Cobby and Wakers all got ourselves in but didn't go on. We needed somebody to get a 120-plus which is what you need to win a 50-over game. If we had got 270 or 280 we could have put them under a lot of pressure because the wickets was turning.

"Then we could have done with a couple of early wickets but their guys played really well up top.

"Now we have got three big games coming up and hopefully we can win all three and still be in the mix."

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