Emburey on his way back to Lord's

Northamptonshire 220-7 Warwickshire 193 Northants win by 27 runs
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The Independent Online
John Emburey, Northamptonshire's coach and one of the best limited-overs bowlers in the world, will be back at Lord's, his former Middlesex home, for the Benson and Hedges Cup final against Lancashire on 13 July.

Alongside him should be Tim Walton. Tim Who? Leeds-educated Tim, 23, the semi-final matchwinner, clutching the gold award after literally throwing Warwickshire out of the competition. That's who.

Northamptonshire saw Walton dismiss Trevor Penney and Paul Smith with crucial direct hits which needed the umpires' confirmation of the video- replay, such was the speed of throw in improbable circumstances, as Warwickshire's prospects of a fifth Lord's knock-out final out of six were shattered.

Penney was ambling in, by his fleet-footed standards, to complete a second run when Walton's arrow from fully 50 yards cannoned into the stumps. Smith, unwisely, risked a single to backward point and was speared out at the bowler's end. Walton's innings of 70 not out from 73 balls had already given Northamptonshire something to bowl at - or as it turned out - to throw at and Warwickshire were beaten with 13 balls remaining.

These games, recycled into a second day, are often anti- climactic. This one was just the opposite. Warwickshire finished with Dermot Reeve, the familiar magic man, stranded on 21 and Curtly Ambrose just about turning cartwheels of joy. His yorker which needed almost a subterranean stroke from Dominic Ostler had been a classic of the fast bowler's art. His previous delivery, a bouncer, had been an eyebrow tweaker.

Whatever elixir Northamptonshire have taken this summer has produced 12 straight limited overs wins, including the one against the Indians, and a sense of togetherness. Emburey's influence has guided Rob Bailey, the new and worthy captain, so long under the not-so-tall but then daunting shadow of the now-retired Allan Lamb.

Emburey will concentrate full-time on his off-field role in the second half of the season but admitted afterwards: "Going back to Lord's to play in another final will be a special day - if I do play." He surely will as Northamptonshire seek their first B&H title for 16 years.

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