Ntini sparks Warwickshire into C and G Trophy final
LONDON: South African paceman Makhaya Ntini played a starring role on his home debut, taking two vital wickets to help Warwickshire beat Lancashire by 99 runs to reach the C and G Trophy final on Saturday.
After making 236-7 off their 50 overs, Lancashire would have been favourites but that was before Ntini struck by removing left-handed openers Iain Sutcliffe and Marcus North in an opening spell of 2-9 off five overs. Five-time winners Warwickshire were also indebted to eighth-wicket pair Michael Powell and Tony Frost who put on an unbroken 81 before wicketkeeper Frost became the man of the match with four catches in Lancashire’s collapse to 137.
Lancashire were soon behind the run rate despite opener Mal Loye making 40. Their hopes were doomed when big-hitting Andrew Symonds top-edged a pull from Neil Carter’s first ball to Ntini who took a fine catch at square leg. Stuart Law made 47 before he edged Carter, who finished with 4-26, as Lancashire lost a seventh semi-final defeat in five years in all competitions.
In the final, Warwickshire will take on Hampshire who crushed Yorkshire by eight wickets at The Rose Bowl. Yorkshire, without England men Michael Vaughan and Matthew Hoggard, struggled to 197-9 in their 50 overs before Hampshire reached their target with more than 10 overs to spare. Zimbabwean Sean Ervine top-scored with a stylish 100. afp