Gloucestershire own the one-day game

Natwest Trophy Final: Only hiccup for Alleyne is wait for presentation after his side cruise to fourth consecutive success at Lord's

Whatever slings and arrows are sent their way, and Allan Donald managed a few thunderbolts before the real thing arrived in mid-afternoon, Gloucestershire do not miss a stride. This was their fourth stroll to victory at Lord's in successive one-day finals, a feat unprecedented in the history of the game in this country.

Whatever slings and arrows are sent their way, and Allan Donald managed a few thunderbolts before the real thing arrived in mid-afternoon, Gloucestershire do not miss a stride. This was their fourth stroll to victory at Lord's in successive one-day finals, a feat unprecedented in the history of the game in this country.

Only the manner of the win, by the Duckworth-Lewis method, would have taken the gloss off their latest triumph, though the fact that the NatWest Trophy got lost between Channel 4's studio and the presentation ceremony, might just have pipped it.

With no trophy to hold aloft - it arrived about three minutes later - Mark Alleyne looked bemused, which considering this game was washed out of Saturday, and then curtailed yesterday, more or less summed up the mood.

According to the Duckworth-Lewis method, whose inner workings are best left to people able to solve Fermat's last Theorum, Gloucestershire, 122-3 after 29.4 overs when rain stopped play, won the match by 22 runs.

Chasing a modest 206, a total in which the latest addition to England's Test squad, Ashley Giles, contributed 60 runs, Gloucestershire did not pace their reply. Latching on to anything loose, Tim Hancock, took three fours off Dougie Brown's opening over. Brown, who made four runs with the bat, conceded 29 runs off his opening four overs, before being replaced by Donald.

In his last season for Warwickshire, Donald has, along with the likes of Malcolm Marshall and Courtney Walsh, been one of the best overseas servants in the county game.

Loping in off that predatory run of his he knew a strike was crucial if his team were not to be blown off the park. It was not long in coming either, and having built up his pace ball by ball, he completely deceived Hancock with a slower ball that bowled the batsman neck and crop.

Gloucestershire have not dominated one-day cricket by being prone to intimidation and Kim Barnett, playing in his 450th domestic one-day match, along with Australian one-day international, Ian Harvey, kept Mr White Lightning at bay.

That meant the bowlers at the other end took the brunt of their aggression and Harvey in particular took heavy toll of the others. Using his feet to Giles and off-spinner Neil Smith, he drove through and over the infield. When they resorted to bowling flatter he swept them with a deftness that kept Ed Giddins on his toes at deep square leg.

Barnett, finding Warwickshire adept at feeding his strengths, did not need to take the same risks. A half-century looked a certainty until Smith brought Donald back from the Pavilion End. With one ball to get loose, the next removed Barnett's middle stump, nipping back sharply down the slope.

With dark clouds gathering, and with the Glosters ahead on Duckworth-Lewis, Smith should have perhaps kept his fast bowler on for longer. Instead, after another over of barbs and Exocets at Jack Russell, he rested him and brought back Brown.

In keeping with his earlier spell Brown was all over the place though a timely long-hop, the second in a row, did for Harvey, whose pull shot found Michael Powell on the boundary at deep square-leg. With rain now falling heavily, the game was up for Warwickshire, a fact eventually acknowledged by the West Country contingent in the patchy crowd.

After a day under covers on Saturday and with thick cloud around yesterday morning attendance was always going to be reduced. By similar token, the same conditions were always going to be a good toss to win and Alleyne, a captain who normally prefers to bat first, had no hesitation in asking Warwickshire to take first dig.

Citing "perfect conditions for swing" as the main reason for his decision, Alleyne was spot on in his assessment. The only problem was that, Harvey, his opening bowler could not control it and his opening cost eight runs, seven of them down to wides.

A start like that normally boosts the batting side but Mike Smith, after a wayward ball or two himself, suddenly got one in the business area and an off-balance Nick Knight edged to Russell. It was a poor shot and Knight's footwork, the main source of his technical problems, were again at the root of the cause.

The wicket brought Giles to the crease. Celebrating his England call-up, he quickly showed why he is the kind of multi-dimensional player the England coach Duncan Fletcher favours. Unafraid to play his shots, he still had the technique to prevent the new ball bowlers from making further breakthroughs.

When they did, it was Anurag Singh, a recent captain of Cambridge University, who succumbed, this time to an inside edge as Smith shaped another one down the Lord's slope. Smith finished with the remarkable figures of 3 for 18, a performance every bit as deserving of the Man of the Match award that was eventually given to Donald.

But while Giles kept his own score ticking over, his team-mates lost both their heads and their wickets. It was that carelessness that caused Warwickshire to lose momentum and for their third fifty (100-150) to be the slowest of their innings.

When that happens you are not usually winning the game, something Gloucestershire and Duckworth-Lewis confirmed, once the trophy was finally located and raised aloft.


Gloucestershire won toss


N V Knight c Russell b Smith 1 7 mins, 7 balls A Singh b Smith 10 39 mins, 27 balls, 2 fours A F Giles c Barnett b Hancock 60 130 mins, 104 balls, 5 fours D P Ostler c Harvey b Averis 19 47 mins, 28 balls, 2 fours T L Penney c Alleyne b Smith 20 65 mins, 50 balls, 2 fours M J Powell b Harvey 21 45 mins, 34 balls, 1 four D R Brown c Barnett b Hancock 4 11 mins, 9 balls *N M K Smith not out 28 36 mins, 29 balls, 3 fours ÿK J Piper not out 8 16 mins, 12 balls Extras (lb12, w22) 34 Total (for 7, 50 overs) 205

Fall: 1-9 (Knight), 2-32 (Singh), 3-81 (Ostler), 4-129 (Giles), 5-134 (Penney), 6-147 (Brown), 7-170 (Powell).

Did not bat: A A Donald, E S H Giddins.

Bowling: Harvey 10-0-47-1 (w9) (5-0-19-0, 5-0-28-1); Smith 10-3-18-3 (w1) (7-2-16-2 3-1-2-1); Averis 10-1-50-1 (w11) (8-1-37-1 2-0-13-0); Alleyne 6-0-28-0; Hancock 10-1-34-2 (w1) (one spell each); Ball 4-0-16-0 (3-0-13-0 1-0-3-0).

Progress: 50: 67 mins, 96 balls. 100: in 107 mins, 151 balls. 150 in 169 mins, 248 balls. 200 in 200 mins, 297 balls.

Giles 50: 115 mins, 87 balls, 5 fours.


T H C Hancock b Donald 18 36 min, 29 balls, 4 fours K J Barnett b Donald 45 93 min, 75 balls, 5 fours I J Harvey c Powell b Brown 47 86 min, 60 balls, 5 fours ÿR C Russell not out 6 30 min, 14 balls Extras (lb5, w1) 6 Total (for 3, 29.4 overs) 122

Fall: 1-40 (Hancock), 2-93 (Barnett), 3-122 (Harvey).

Did not bat: M G N Windows, *M W Alleyne, C G Taylor, J N Snape, M C J Ball, J M M Averis, A M Smith.

Bowling: Brown 5.4-0-38-1 (4-0-29-0, 1.4-0-9-1); Giddins 7-0-20-0 (w1) (one spell); Donald 6-2-7-2 (4-1-4-1, 2-1-3-1); Smith 4-0-23-0; Giles 7-0-29-0 (one spell each).

Progress: 50: 53 min, 72 balls. 100: 110 min, 157 balls. Rain stopped play: 4.53pm. Match abandoned: 5.45pm.

Man of the match: A A Donald.

Umpires: J H Hampshire and R Julian.