Warwickshire beat Worcestershire to win the County Championship
County Championship Division One, Worcester
Warwickshire 471-8 dec beat Worcestershire 60 & 209 by an innings and 202 runs
Warwickshire 23pts, Worcestershire 1pt
Warwickshire wrapped up the 2012 County Championship title as they completed a derby win over Worcestershire at New Road to effectively relegate their Midland neighbours to Division Two.
Resuming on 100-2, the home side faced a thankless task, needing another 311 runs to make the visitors bat again.
But, despite 72 from ex-Warwickshire youngster Moeen Ali, the home side were bowled out just after lunch for 209.
That completed victory for the jubilant Bears by an innings and 202 runs.
First-innings heroes Chris Wright and Keith Barker, who routed Worcestershire for just 60 on Tuesday morning, were again among the wickets as the Bears secured their seventh title and their first since 2004.
Barker weighed in with 3-39, getting the key wicket of home skipper Daryl Mitchell, who jabbed the ball into his stumps without adding to his overnight score of 42.
Wright took 4-65, the last three of them all clean bowled inside half an hour after lunch for a match, to finish with 9-89.
It also took the new-ball pair's combined haul to 112 wickets this summer.
Former Warwickshire fast bowler Alan Richardson, who played in their last Championship-winning team, was Wright's final victim, which meant there were two Bears old boys at the crease when the end came.
Warwickshire have won the County Championship six times before.
They lifted the trophy in 1911, 1951, 1972, 1994, 1995 and under Nick Knight in 2004 (pictured).
Warwickshire, who cruelly missed out on the title on the final day of the season to Lancashire a year ago, made no mistake this time round, their sixth Championship win of this rain-ruined summer earning them the title with one game to go - against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge next week.
Victory also meant that Ashley Giles has now won the Championship as both player and coach.
Worcestershire's young side, by contrast, have won just once in 15 games to stand on the brink of relegation for the fourth time since the County Championship became a two-tier system in 2000.
With seventh-placed Surrey and eighth-placed Lancashire playing each other at Aigburth next week, only a freakish set of circumstances in that match, coupled with a 24-point victory for Worcestershire at Taunton, can save them.
The Bears achieved their triumph despite being without the services for much of the season of England duo Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, who played just six games between them. Fast bowlers Chris Woakes and Boyd Rankin also missed half their matches.
Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton, who also played a big part in the Bears' 2004 title triumph under Nick Knight, admitted that he was "proud" to lead his side to Championship glory.
"It couldn't have gone any better for us on the final day," Troughton told BBC Sport. "It's been a great effort all season and deserved reward for all the work we've put in since last year.
"We said in the dressing room at Southampton a year ago 'let's use that disappointment to fuel us for next year to do it with a game to spare' and it's amazing the way it's worked out that way.
"It's a proud moment for me to get my hands on that trophy again. I probably took it for granted when we won it in 2004, when I was a youngster, but this win means the world to me.
"Every single man in that dressing room has contributed. We've got a big squad and everybody has put their hands up with bat and ball. It's not just not the ones wearing the whites."
Worcestershire coach Steve Rhodes added: "You have to pay tribute to Warwickshire. They almost got there last season and to do it two seasons on the trot is testament to the way they've batted.
"You've seen the difference over the last three days between a side with as much confidence as they have and a team like ours, who have had a few of our frailties exposed.
"When you're down, things kick you in the teeth and we haven't had the rub of the green. But, although we've had limited resources this season, I still feel we could have done better."
CommentsJump to comments pagination
Comment number 50.alb1on
7th September 2012 - 11:28
Comment number 49.InGermany
7th September 2012 - 11:14
Comment number 48.Typical_English_No8
7th September 2012 - 9:45
Comment number 47.Dave Jennings
7th September 2012 - 9:41
Comment number 46.martinhewings
7th September 2012 - 6:05