CRICKET - Norwell heroics help Warwickshire stay up with miraculous final day win against Hampshire - The Leamington Observer

CRICKET - Norwell heroics help Warwickshire stay up with miraculous final day win against Hampshire

Leamington Editorial 30th Sep, 2022   0

LIAM Norwell returned career-best figures to inspire Warwickshire CCC to a miraculous five-run win against Hampshire to secure the club’s Division One County Championship status on the final day of the season.

Norwell took 9-62 in the final innings to bowl Hampshire out for 133 and relegate Yorkshire against all the odds at Edgbaston.

Warwickshire won the title on the final day of last year’s competition but this result was just as spectacular as 18 wickets fell on the final day with injury-plagued Norwell at the heart of the action.

Norwell said: “I don’t know what I was thinking at the end. I just went mad. All the emotions came out and I was nearly in tears.

“It means a lot to me because I feel I have let the lads down by being out injured so much this season so I hope that helping us stay up has repaid the guys a little bit.

“The crowd were behind us and I’m not sure how to describe it. Just like on the last day of last season, the crowd kept us going and it’s a day that will live long in the memory and now we have got to push on and make sure we are not in this position again.”

The Bears looked down and out after they were bowled for just 177 in their second innings as Dom Sibley’s 77 proved crucial supported by Alex Davies (32) with Hampshire needing 139 to win.

However, after Oliver Hannon-Dalby had Hampshire opener Felix Organ caught for five, Norwell ran riot with one of the best bowling displays ever seen in County Championship history.

Norwell took three early scalps to leave Hampshire on 49-4 which included the key wicket of visiting captain James Vince for just 15.

And the pace bowler then grabbed the crucial wicket of Nick Gubbins (46) who had looked to derail Warwickshire’s survival hopes in a 160-ball knock.

His departure meant Warwickshire still needed two wickets with Hampshire 15 runs from victory.

However, Norwell accounted for James Fuller (22) with a sumptuous delivery that knocked out the Hampshire batter’s middle stump with the visitors still six runs short of the required total.

And that set up the most extraordinary of finishes as Norwell claimed his ninth wicket of a remarkable spell when he trapped Mohammad Abbas (0) lbw to spark wild scenes of celebration on the pitch.

Warwickshire finished the County Championship season in eighth place just three points clear of Yorkshire who were beaten by already relegated Gloucestershire to suffer relegation to Division Two.


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