England pair outclass Hampshire
A second-wicket partnership of 155 between Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell guided Warwickshire to a seven-wicket win over Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.
The Bears’ England stars dominated a tame Hampshire bowling attack as they reached their target of 212 with more than four overs to spare, condemning the Royals to a third consecutive Clydesdale Bank 40 defeat and extending Warwickshire’s 100% start to the competition.
Trott narrowly missed out on a deserved hundred, smashing an unbeaten 96 from 115 balls in a perfectly paced innings of controlled aggression and flawless shot selection.
Bell also contributed a fine 71 at almost a run a ball, before falling to Rangana Herath with victory in sight.
Hampshire briefly looked like making a fist of defending their mediocre 211 for eight after James Tomlinson removed Neil Carter for just 15 to leave the Bears 30 for one.
But dealing with the often troublesome prospect of batting under floodlights, Bell and Trott combined to wrest the initiative from Hampshire and ease their side to a comfortable victory.
Trott, in particular, looked to have returned to the sort of form which saw him plunder a Ashes century on Test debut last year.
On a placid batting strip – which had seen over 1,000 runs plundered during Hampshire’s previous LV= County Championship match with Somerset – the Royals made a dreadful start, in keeping with their spluttering start to the season.
Having broken a run of five consecutive reverses in all competitions with that draw against Somerset, the hosts were seeking a morale-boosting first win of the year.
But openers Michael Carberry and Jimmy Adams were removed by Chris Woakes for a single apiece and, despite impressive starts by James Vince and in-form Sean Ervine - both were dismissed by Boyd Rankin - Hampshire were always struggling to reach a par score.
Neil McKenzie anchored the innings with a patient unbeaten 62 from 77 balls, dragging Hampshire’s score to a competitive level, but as he ran out of partners – and failed to open his shoulders as the overs ticked by – so Warwickshire tightened their grip on the tie.
As Warwickshire's innings progressed almost without incident, the last drama for the Rose Bowl crowd was to see if Trott could inch his way to a match-winning century.
Ever the professional, he would not farm the strike, finishing a boundary away from three figures.