Bell savours one-day high
Warwickshire captain Ian Bell ranked his Clydesdale Bank 40-winning innings against Somerset as the best of his one-day career, but was eager to share the acclaim with leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
England star Bell hit a delicately timed 107 off 95 balls to steer the Bears to the brink of a target of 200 in a Lord's final where low scores dominated to take his side to a three-wicket win.
The 28-year-old has spent more time in recent years on England duty than in county colours, but he was happy to declare today's contribution his finest in limited-overs cricket.
"In terms of one-day cricket I probably haven't played better than that," said Bell, who perished with the scores level.
"It's a shame I didn't see it right to the end but I enjoyed what I achieved today.
"Captaining gave me a little more determination to be there at the end. I've really enjoyed the experience of leading the side and I feel very lucky to captain Warwickshire.
"It's something I've wanted to do for a long time, especially to lead the side out at Lord's."
Tahir, playing his last game for the club, earned a big mention for his 5-41, including a devastating second spell of 5-14 in four overs.
"Our bowlers did a great job too," Bell continued. "Imran has done it all season for us.
"We don't get him back next season, which is massively disappointing to us as players as well as to supporters. I think he's pushing 100 wickets in all cricket so we'll miss him massively.
"To come on and turn a game like that - there are not many people in world cricket who could do it.
"He bowled quite well in his first spell and then he turned it on its head in his last four overs."
Bell was also fulsome in his praise of the younger, homegrown members of the side, predicting brighter times ahead following a fallow period of late.
"I grew up watching Warwickshire and I was lucky enough to be growing up at a time when they were winning a lot of trophies,” he said, referring to Dermot Reeve’s trophy-laden reign as captain.
"We probably haven't done ourselves justice in the last couple of years in that respect, although we've been a good side.
"But it's a completely different team to the one I came into a few years ago. Back then we had players like Nick Knight, Ashley Giles, Dougie Brown, Trevor Penney. I now look at the team as a young side, and an exciting one for the future.
"All the young lads did well for us - Keith Barker, Chris Woakes, Richard Johnson. They handled themselves fantastically well on the biggest stage in county cricket and I think they've got a very bright future."