A hard forty finale
Stats show Glamorgan and Notts deserve domestic one-day final chance
By Richard V Isaacs - @RVISkyStatto. Last Updated: September 20, 2013 12:17pm
So, here it is - the traditional curtain closer of the domestic cricket season.
There may still be another round of County Championship matches to play, but there will still be a distinct end-of-season flavour to the Yorkshire Bank 40 final at Lord's on Saturday.
Glamorgan tackle the Nottinghamshire Outlaws for the right to be crowned kings of the longer form of the shorter game and the last of the 40-over champions - the competition switches to a 50-over format in 2014.
And whilst many would have tipped Nottinghamshire to be in the shake-up when the competition began this season, the surprise package is most definitely Glamorgan.
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The Welshmen had lost two of their opening five games which included a home washout against the ECB recreational side, the Unicorns, but then went on a terrific run of six wins in their remaining seven group games.
If that was not enough, they then stunned the holders Hampshire Royals on their own patch to move into their third Lord's final in their history.
The Outlaws did it the other way round, winning their opening seven games in Group A before suffering three losses in four starts and they only secured their place in the semi-finals with a comfortable win over Kent Spitfires on the last day.
Their semi-final was much more of a formality as they crushed Somerset by eight wickets in a rain-shortened match to clinch their fifth appearance at the Lord's showpiece.
For Glamorgan, it will be a chance to finally lift some Lord's silverware as their previous two appearances have both ended in defeat.
Glamorgan's Lord's Finals
Gillette Cup, 1977: Lost by five wickets v Middlesex
50-over knockout, 2000: Lost by seven wickets v Gloucestershire
However, they have won what used to be called The Sunday League on three occasions, the first being in 1993 and then followed it up in 2002 and 2004.
In fact, the shirts that they have been wearing in this year's YB40 competition are based on replicas from that 1993 triumph.
Nottinghamshire's experiences of Lord's finals are equally as sparse and you have to go back all the way to 1989 to find their last 'Big Day Out'.
They played in the domestic Final four times in the 1980s, winning two and losing two.
Nottinghamshire's Lord's Finals
50-over knockout, 1982: Lost by nine wickets v Somerset
NatWest Trophy, 1985: Lost by one run v Essex
NatWest Trophy, 1987: Won by three wickets v Northamptonshire
50-over knockout, 1989: Won by three wickets v Essex
You also have to go back to 1991 to find the last time that Nottinghamshire lifted any one-day silverware, when Tim Robinson's side won the Sunday League in that year.
It is safe to say that Nottinghamshire success has been an all-round effort by the team. They have two of the top five leading run-scorers in the competition in their ranks and two of the top eight leading wicket-takers as well.
However, up against them is the leading wicket-taker in Australian Michael Hogan, who celebrated signing a new three-year contract with Glamorgan with figures of 4-51 in the semi-final win over Hampshire.
YB40 2013 Highest run-scorers
YB40 2013 Leading wicket-takers
The statistics of the season, however, prove that both sides deserve their passage to the final. Only Somerset, who Notts defeated in the semi-final, has a better team batting average in the YB40 this campaign.
However, Nottinghamshire's bowlers are also in the top five of the best economy rates this year, sitting third behind Northants and Durham. Glamorgan are in 'mid-table' in 11th place but still concede at less than a run-a-ball.
Saturday's game will also be one of celebration at Lord's as it will mark the 50th anniversary of the first ever domestic one-day final on the ground.
That was held on 7 September 1963 in what was called "The Knockout Competition", which was played over a mammoth 65 overs per side in that first year and saw Sussex play Worcestershire.Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Sussex were indebted to Jim Parks' 57 and Richard Langridge's 34 in their total of 168 in 60.2 overs (a rattling 2.78 runs per over and included 11 maidens!).
Worcestershire's reply fell just 14 runs short, despite contributions from wicket-keeper Roy Booth (33*), Tom Graveney (29) and Martin Horton (26). Three wickets apiece for Tony Buss (3/39) and John Snow (3/13) kept the Pears down to 154 in 63.2 overs which included 14 maidens.
Sussex also won the tournament in 1964, defeating Warwickshire by eight wickets before an inspired innings by Geoff Boycott of 146 in 1965 - still the highest score in a domestic Lord's final - led Yorkshire to a thumping 175 run win.
This will be the fourth 40-over final to be played at Lord's and it will see a fourth different winner after Warwickshire (2010), Surrey (2011) and Hampshire (2012) all lifted the CB40 trophy.
|Date||Batting first||Score||Batting second||Score||Result|
|18/09/10||Somerset||199 (39)||Warks||200-7 (39)||Warks won by 3 wkts|
|17/09/11||Somerset||214 (39.2)||Surrey||189-5 (27.3)||Surrey won by 5 wkts (D/L)|
|15/09/12||Hampshire||244 (40)||Warks||244-7 (40)||Hants won by losing fewer wkts|
It is always a special day, regardless of the competition and this year will be no different ... even if it is being played on the latest date ever seen for the domestic one-day final - the 21st September (beating the previous best of the CB40 in 2010 of the 18th September).