Bell and Trott make class tell
Warwickshire’s England batsmen Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott hit half-centuries to steer the Bears to a six-wicket win over injury-hit Kent in the Clydesdale Bank 40 Group C match at Canterbury.
Chasing Kent’s moderate 246 for six at a shade more than six an over, Warwickshire romped to their target with 13 balls to spare courtesy of Bell’s excellent 88, a workmanlike 54 by Trott and an unbeaten 56 off only 51 deliveries from Jim Troughton.
The visitors lost pinch-hitter Neil Carter early in their reply when he played down the wrong line of an Azhar Mahmood leg-cutter, but it was another 21 overs before Spitfires enjoyed success as Trott and Bell made the most of a short boundary on one side by adding 126 for the second wicket.
Former Scotland seamer Dewald Nel suffered a dreadful home debut and disappeared to all parts.
The slightly-built right-arm bowler conceded 32, all of them in boundaries, from his opening three overs from the Nackington Road End.
He came back at the Pavilion End for a further stint after minor injuries to Azhar and Simon Cook, but still proved expensive: his 7.5 overs cost 70 runs, including 13 fours.
Trott appeared content to play second fiddle to Bell, who silenced the home support by lofting extravagant sixes over extra-cover.
Trott eventually toe-ended an attempted drive against Cook, who was the pick of Kent’s attack on his season bow.
Then, with Azhar off the field, Martin van Jaarsveld had Bell caught and bowled.
Nel at least snared Darren Maddy leg before for a second-ball duck, but Troughton and his skipper Ian Westwood feasted on a string of loose deliveries thereafter to steer their side to an emphatic win.
Kent’s total was also built around three half-centuries, from Joe Denly, van Jaarsveld and Darren Stevens.
Chris Woakes bowled skipper Rob Key for 10, but Kent rallied with a partnership of 113 in 22 overs between Denly and van Jaarsveld that ended when the South African, on 58, offered leg-spinner a return catch Imran Tahir.
Four overs later, Tahir’s whippy action also removed Denly for 80 - made off 102 balls - bowled middle and off as he slog-swept.
Geraint Jones had his off pole trimmed making room to cut Maddy, who also bowled Azhar, heaving across the line. That left Stevens to provide the late pyrotechnics with 51 from 33 balls.
The right-hander hit five sixes in a 29-ball half-century, with no fours, before falling in the penultimate over to a Carter full toss.