One-Day Cup: Jonathan Trott can be Warwickshire match-winner again

Jonathan Trott
Jonathan Trott's scores in the One-Day Cup scores so far this summer read 66, 100, 4, 118 and 101

Jonathan Trott was a man a still fighting for his cricketing future when he last appeared for Warwickshire in a Lord's final two years ago.

It was just 10 months on from the mentally-scarred South Africa-born batsman's painfully public departure from England's Ashes tour.

Returning home to Edgbaston was part of the healing process, and although he was not short of support in the Bears dressing room, he was short of runs.

He made just two in 15 balls in the 2014 One-Day Cup final as Warwickshire's score of 165 proved nowhere near enough to beat Durham.

It has been a different story for Trott so far this summer.

He missed two of the eight qualifying group games with injury, one was abandoned and in the other he was not needed in a nine-wicket win.

In the five innings he has played, however, three of them have been marked with a century.

Trott still 'world class' - Brown

His 100 at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire was merely a valiant response to a record-breaking Notts total of 415-5.

But in the Bears' final group game win at Headingley he made 118 and then, having been promoted to open the batting, it was his 101 that set Warwickshire on their way to a comfortable 70-run win over Essex in the quarter-finals.

Laurie Evans has played his part too, with key scores of 48 not out against Yorkshire and then an unbeaten 70 against Essex. However, one more big performance from Trott in Sunday's home semi-final against Somerset would do a lot to take the Bears back to a record 19th Lord's one-day final.

"Trotty is just a world-class player," said Bears director of cricket Dougie Brown.

"He changed his position in the order and went up top (against Essex), as he has done for Warwickshire and England over the years, and he showed again just how good a player he still is.

"Trotty played beautifully in a great partnership with Tim Ambrose which laid the platform for Laurie Evans to go in and play like he can, in a completely dominating way with some incredible shots.

"Laurie's innings was absolutely blistering. His reverse-sweep for six was just ridiculous. One-day cricket is about having fun and hopefully sending the crowd home thinking they have seen something awesome. That shot was awesome."

Laurie Evans has also been a big player for the Bears, making an unbeaten 48 against Yorkshire before a fine 70 not out against Essex in the quarter-final
Laurie Evans has also been a big player for the Bears, making a fine 70 not out against Essex in the quarter-final

The incentive of a Lord's final

Bears captain Ian Bell views the semi-final as an "exciting opportunity" and told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire: "One game away from Lord's. They are some of the best days you can have in your career as a county player.

"50-over cricket has probably been our best format this year. We've scored some big runs with our batting unit in the last few 50-over games. That's a really good place to be when you've got a line-up that feels good in the format."

The team were disappointed to miss out on T20 Blast Finals Day this year, but a day out at the home of cricket would be a "special" consolation, according to Brown.

"To play in a Lord's final is a great incentive," he added. "Somerset will present a tough challenge but they know we will too.

"They know Edgbaston is a bit of a fortress in big games and in the last two 50-over games we have defeated two very good sides. If we play somewhere close to how we have played in the last two games we will be very difficult to beat."

Will the Bears stay on track at Edgbaston?

Bell reckons that groundsman Gary Barwell could be the key man on Monday.

"The square is getting a bit tired now at Edgbaston with the amount of cricket we've had," Bell told BBC WM.

"I feel for Gary sometimes. He's had a Test match, Finals Day and so much cricket this year at Edgbaston.

"We'll see what kind of surface we get before deciding if we want to bat first again.

"In T20 at times we were better chasing and in 50-over cricket we've been better setting but we'll have to see what Gary gives us. Hopefully it'll be a good surface."