Royal London Cup Final at Lord's Hampshire v Somerset
Royal London Cup Final at Lord's Hampshire v Somerset Saturday May 25th
Neil Whitaker reports
SOMERSET beat holders Hampshire by six wickets with 6.3 overs to spare to win their first Lord’s final since 2001 when they beat Leicestershire by 41 runs.
It was not a fitting final to say goodbye to county one day finals at Lord’s because Somerset were always in control but it was sweet revenge for Somerset after they were easily beaten by Hampshire in the group stages.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat nothing went right for the holders. They struggled to get ball away with the bat and with the ball they were blitzed by the Somerset openers Tom Banton and Azhar Ali as they put 112 on for the first wicket.
In the first over of the Somerset chase Fidel Edwards had two confident appeals for leg before against Banton turned down. In his next over Banton effortlessly clipped him off his hips just clearing Chris Wood on the square leg boundary. Azhar Ali followed Banton’s lead and inside five overs Somerset had reached 42,it had taken Hampshire 10 overs to reach 42 and they had lost two wickets.
Banton swept Mason Crane to the square leg boundary to bring up his 50 from 31 balls which included six fours and a six. In Crane’s next over Banton reversed swept him, swept him normally and cut him to the cover boundary.
The partnership was broken when Edwards was recalled to the attack,his second ball cut back at Banton and took an inside edge to stumper Tom Alsop. Edwards got his second wicket in his next over when Azhar Ali tamely chipped him to Rilee Rossouw at short mid wicket.
On 16 Peter Trego cut Kyle Abbott to the substitute Brad Taylor at point but he couldn’t hold on to it and when you haven’t got many runs to play with a team cannot afford to drop a man like Trego. Hampshire eventually got him when he turned James Fuller off his legs to Wood at fine leg who caught it as it dipped. The partnership with James Hildreth added 49 in 10 overs.
With Somerset 42 runs short of of victory and with 14 overs remaining, Someset skipper Tom Abell pulled Edwards to Aneurin Donald at short mid wicket. Hildreth reached his fifty with straight drive to the long on boundary and it was he who hit the winning run when he pulled Edwards through mid wicket for a single after hitting the previous two for boundaries.
Hampshire were indebted to an unbroken ninth wicket partnership of 64 in nine overs between Fuller, who made 55 and Crane with 28, that gave them a target which they could defend. When they came together Hampshire had lost three wickets for 35 runs in seven overs with nine overs to bat.
Skipper Sam Northeast top scored with 56 and when he was dismissed he chances of Hampshire posting a score of 200 plus looked very far away especially as the tail had to deal with the hostile pace of Jamie Overton who took three for 42 in his 10 overs. But they stood firm and kept the scoreboard moving with a combination of conventional and unconventional shots. The turning point was the 48th over bowled by Roelof Van Der Merwe when Fuller managed to hit boundaries in consecutive balls, the first through extra cover and the second over stumpers Banton’s head. Facing the last over from Jamie Overton, Fuller batted well outside his off stump and moving back to a normal position as Overton delivered.
Hampshire lost their first wicket in the fourth over when Donald drove a ball which was too far away from him to be driven to van Der Merwe in the covers who took a comfortable waiste height.
On 16 Alsop edged a drive off Josh Davey to Hildreth at slip but as he was about to celebrate Hildreth drop the ball. In the end it didn’t make a difference because Alsop played an identical shot to the next ball which found Hildreth but this time he hung on. After losing two cheap wickets in the powerplay worse was to follow for Hampshire, Lewis Gregory got one to nip back at Joe Weatherley and bowled him.
On 18 Rossouw got a thick outside edge off Jamie Overton just wide off Hildreth at backward point. In Jamie’s next over Rossouw shouldered arms but the ball nipped back, took the face off his bat and Rossouw played on.
With two men out for the short ball Gareth Berg fell for the three card trick when he pulled Jamie Overton to George Bartlett at deep backward square leg.
Abell brought himself on to bowl and he struck with his fourth delivery when he bowled Hampshire skipper Northeast just he had reached his fifty. Northeast had a big swing at Abell and was bowled.
Jamie Overton got his third wicket in the next over when Wood clipped him off his legs to Bartlett at deep backward square leg.
May 26, 2019 12:00 am