|Bob Willis Trophy final, Lord’s (day one):|
|Lancashire 78: Wood 46*; Miles 5-28, Johal 3-29, Norwell 2-9|
|Warwickshire 120-0: Yates 69*, Sibley 49*|
|Warwickshire lead Lancashire by 42 runs with 10 wickets remaining|
County champions Warwickshire had a tremendous first day of the Bob Willis Trophy final as they outplayed Lancashire to take control at Lord’s.
After winning the toss and putting Lancashire in, the Bears reduced them to 12-6 inside the first hour.
Luke Wood hit 46 not out but the Red Rose were rolled for just 78, Craig Miles spearheading the Bears with 5-28.
England’s Dom Sibley (49) and Rob Yates (69) then reached the close unparted on 120-0 when bad light called a halt.
After two earlier rain breaks, that meant almost a third of the day’s play was lost to the weather.
Only the prospect of more bad weather to come later in the week, especially on Thursday and Friday, now looks like saving Lancashire from defeat.
Good toss to win
Big finals at Lord’s in September have traditionally been decided by who wins the toss.
But none of the big one-day finals of the past at the home of cricket have ever brought quite such a dramatic start as this.
When Lancashire’s sixth wicket fell on 12, they were still 13 runs short of matching their lowest-ever first-class score, 25 against Derbyshire in 1871.
Liam Norwell started the rot when Tim Bresnan pouched a slip catch to remove George Balderson, after which Miles, deputising with the new ball as England’s Chris Woakes was unavailable, nipped in for four wickets in 14 balls.
He held on to a superb one-handed return catch from Warwickshire-bound Alex Davies, bowled Luke Wells then earned lbw decisions against Steven Croft and Dane Vilas before Norwell had Rob Jones caught behind in the next over.
Josh Bohannon (17) and Wood briefly resisted with a stand of 35 to at least avoid that place in the record books, and also go past Lancashire’s lowest score at Lord’s – the 49 they made against the MCC in 1880.
But then came the introduction of teenage Bears paceman Manraj Johal, who made a dream first-class debut after cutting his teeth with West Bromwich Dartmouth in the Birmingham League and Staffordshire in National Counties cricket.
Johal, who does not turn 20 for another fortnight, struck three times in four overs to remove Bohannon, Tom Bailey and Jack Blatherwick.
Last man Matt Parkinson at least hung around for five overs to help Wood take Lancashire past their lowest score against the Bears – 70 at Old Trafford in 1955.
But Miles returned to ensure his third five-wicket haul against Lancashire and his first at Lord’s, to earn a place on the celebrated pavilion honours board.
Then it was a chance for Sibley and Yates to show the Lancashire batters how it should be done.
They posted the Bears’ first century opening stand of the season in the second innings of last week’s Championship-sealing win over Somerset.
But although they made it a second in successive innings, they both survived missed chances in the slip cordon off luckless left-armer Wood – and Sibley was also close to giving a return catch to Balderson.
Warwickshire fast bowler Craig Miles told BBC CWR:
“It’s a pretty special five-fer for me and to do it in a Trophy final as well is really good. After winning the Championship on the final session of the final day to play in front of the cameras at Lord’s there is incentive.
“People like Rob Yates and Liam Norwell have personal aspirations for higher honours and there is a trophy to be won.
“There was enough there in the wicket for us to utilise this morning. But, looking at the way Sibbo and Rob Yates have batted it seems a pretty good track.
“The big thing for me has always been my economy. I’ve always taken wickets at regular intervals but that’s often been covering up being a bit leaky. I feel I’ve been a lot more consistent this year.
“Speaking to Robbo that’s what he’s wants from me – I can play various roles. If it’s a swinging day I can stand it up and bring the outside edge into play and if it’s conducive to seam movement I hit the wicket hard and bring in lbw and bowled.”
Lancashire assistant coach Mark Chilton told BBC Radio Lancashire:
“It was a tough toss to lose but I don’t think we covered ourselves in glory. When the scoreboard reads like that you can’t blame it on being unfortunate.
“There was some life in the pitch early and their bowlers put our batters under pressure. We weren’t able to react.
“Bohannon was able to line up and was in reasonable control and then Luke played with positive intent to prove you can make runs out there.
“We came back better after tea. We bowled with a bit more intent and control. We dropped a couple of chances. But you don’t give up.
“In September the first hour is challenging to bat. We’ll hope we can make inroads in that first hour and keep the lead attainable.”