The Lord’s final, for so long a highlight of the cricketing summer. An event where county cricket has its day in the spotlight at one of the finest sporting theatres there is.
In recent years T20 Finals Day may have usurped it as the premier attraction on the calendar, but there is no doubt for many players and supporters a day out at Lord’s remains one to be cherished.
Therefore, it is unfortunate the final this Saturday between Somerset and Hampshire will be the last of its kind before the showpiece event moves to Trent Bridge.
A special venue itself, but there is little doubt from 2020 onwards these finals will not feel the same.
With this in mind, we here at Deep Extra Cover have taken a look back at eight of the best finals to be held at the Home of Cricket.
2017 – Nottinghamshire 298-6 beat Surrey 297-9 by four wickets
A match which will forever be remembered as Alex Hales’ final. The England international recorded the highest individual one-day score at Lord’s to take his team to victory.
Hales’ 187 came off just 167 balls and included 20 fours and four sixes. It was the perfect example of how to conduct a run chase. Initially, it looked as if Hales might run out of partners in Nottinghamshire’s pursuit of 298 as they fell to 150-5, but Chris Read provided able support with 58 as the Outlaws eventually cantered towards their target.
Earlier in the day, Mark Stoneman impressed for Surrey, scoring 144 but it was not enough to stop them falling to a third successive defeat in a One-Day Cup final.
2015 – Gloucestershire 220 beat Surrey 214 by six runs
Quite how Surrey managed to lose this one is a question which will haunt their fans for years to come. Jade Dernbach’s hat-trick helped him to figures of 6-35 as Gloucestershire posted a modest total, thanks mainly to the retiring Geraint Jones’ half-century.
In reply, Surrey looked on course for a comfortable win at 143-2, but from the moment Kumar Sangakarra lobbed a Jack Taylor full toss straight into the hands of Will Tavare at mid-on, it was all Gloucestershire.
The Surrey tail capitulated under severe pressure from the Gloucestershire attack, David Payne bowling a brilliant final over, taking the last two wickets, as the West Country outfit won their first trophy in 11 years.
2012 – Hampshire Royals 244-5 beat Warwickshire Bears 244-7 by losing fewer wickets
Between 2010 and 2013 matches in domestic one-day competition were contested as 40 overs per side, meaning finals at Lord’s had a slightly different feel to them, but they were no less entertaining. In 2012 Hampshire met Warwickshire in an instant classic.
Requiring one to win off the final ball, Neil Carter was unable to get any bat to Kabir Ali’s delivery allowing Hampshire to emerge triumphant by virtue of losing fewer wickets. A disappointment for the Bears, especially with England international Ian Bell in their side, who made a fluent 81.
Chris Woakes almost saw them over the line with 24 off 16 deliveries but was starved of the strike in the final over, as Hampshire fans celebrated a famous win. A match which exemplifies what Lord’s finals are all about.
2006 – Sussex 172 beat Lancashire 157 by 15 runs
When you only post 172 in a 50-over game, then victory is pretty unlikely. And that is how Sussex would have felt when they were dismissed for the score against Lancashire back in 2006.
Sajid Mahmood took 3-16, and it was only really Yasir Arafat and Michael Yardy that added any respectability to the score, both contributing 37. Lancashire looked odds on favourites to win the title, but James Kirtley had others ideas, ripping apart the Red Rose’s top order. He removed Mal Loye, Nathan Astle and Stuart Law cheaply, leaving Lancashire reeling at 27-3.
Batsmen continued to fall and, despite Dominic Cork’s 35, Lancashire were all out for 157. Kirtley trapped Murali Kartik LBW to bring up his five-wicket haul. A quite incredible turnaround and a Lord’s final for the ages.
1993 – Warwickshire 322-5 beat Sussex 321-6 by five wickets.
Often described as ‘the greatest final’, this match can be described by just about every superlative in the book. In the modern day, having to chase down 322 to win would not strike fear into any side but back in 1993 Warwickshire would have been considered rank outsiders at the halfway stage.
This after David Smith’s wonderful 124 and useful half-centuries from Martin Speight and Neil Lenham had put Sussex in a commanding position. Their good day continued when both Warwickshire openers fell quickly.
The Bears recovered somewhat to 93-3, and that was when Asif Din came to the wicket to play the match-winning innings. His 104 off 106 balls to put Warwickshire on the brink. Though he did fall with 16 still required.
Two runs were needed off the last ball and, with Dermot Reeve stuck at the non-strikers’ end on 81, Roger Twose struck the winning runs. If we get as good a final as this at Lord’s on Saturday, then we will be in for a treat.
1989 – Warwickshire 211-6 beat Middlesex 210-5 by four wickets
Without a trophy for nine years, Warwickshire entered the 1989 NatWest Trophy final as underdogs against a star-studded Middlesex outfit but ended the victors through Neil Smith’s heroics in the final over. He struck a six, the only one of the match, and then hit the winning runs as bowler Simon Hughes slipped on the Lord’s surface.
Middlesex’s total of 210 was perhaps a tad under par. Mike Gatting revealed after the loss he would have hoped for 220 as, despite a sixth-wicket partnership of 62 between Paul Downton and John Emburey, the Middlesex captain had to settle for a score of 210.
They did start well with the ball as Angus Fraser reduced the Birmingham outfit to 26-2. Middlesex took three more wickets as Warwickshire got stuck in a rut at 122-5 but up stepped Dermot Reeve and Asif Din for the match-winning partnership of 69. Reeve was eventually run out for 42, a dismissal which saw Smith arrive at the crease, and the rest is history.
1985 – Essex 280-2 beat Nottinghamshire 279-5 by one run
Quite often in a Lord’s final winning the toss and bowling has proved to be a successful option for captains. Although this was not the case for Clive Rice when he put Essex into bat back in 1985. Graham Gooch and Brian Hardie put on 202 for the first wicket as Essex batted their way to an imposing 280-2, Hardie reaching three-figures.
In reply, the Nottinghamshire opening pair of Chris Broad and Tim Robinson impressively added 143 runs of their own. Both were out quickly thereafter as the Trent Bridge side fell to 214-4. But Derek Randle was still at the crease, carrying the hopes of the Nottinghamshire fans in attendance.
18 were needed from the final over and, incredibly, Randall brought that equation down to two off the last delivery. But he was out to the final ball by Derek Pringle, caught by Paul Prichard, Nottinghamshire agonisingly short of their target.
1981 – Derbyshire 235-6 beat Northamptonshire 235-9 by losing fewer wickets
This final took place in the first year of the NatWest Trophy, and what a way to round it off as Derbyshire won their first ever trophy in one-day cricket. Mind you, they could not have done it by a closer margin. Northamptonshire, who had made the final by beating Lancashire by one wicket, started well, entering the lunch break at 133-1.
However, Derbyshire fought back. Allan Lamb was fabulously run out by Geoff Miller and, although Geoff Cook went onto make 111, Derbyshire were well and truly in the game. They began their chase excellently as John Wright and Peter Kirsten both posted half-centuries, but the momentum swung when they were both victims to Neil Mallender in the same over.
Regular wickets continued to go down, leaving Derbyshire needing 19 from the final two overs. The equation was reduced to six off the last over, and Colin Tunnicliffe’s scrambled single in the dark off the last ball was enough to give Derbyshire the win, just.
Make sure you follow Deep Extra Cover on Twitter @deepextra_cover for the all the action and reaction throughout the day on Saturday as Somerset take on Hampshire in the Royal London One-Day Cup final.