Hampshire CCC v Kent CCC at Lord's June 30th
Neil Whitaker reports
HAMPSHIRE won their first final at Lord’s since 2012 as they beat Kent Spitfires by runs 61 runs with 23 balls to spare for the Spitfires it is 40 years since they won at Lord’s final loosing eight out of their last eight finals there..
After being put into bat Hampshire reached 330 for seven in their 50 overs setting the Spitfires to score the highest total chased in a domestic final. South African Rilee
Rossouw top scored with 125 the highest score by an Hampshire player in a final. It was also the seventh highest score in a final and he became the 21st player to hit a century in a final.
After a slow start in the first nine overs of the Hampshire innings he and his partner Tom Alsop found it hard to get the Spitfires’ bowlers away but when Calum Haggett replaced Matt Henry at the Nursery end and his first over cost him 18 runs with Alsop hitting two fours to take Hampshire past 50 in their first ten overs Rossouw ended the over with another four when he edged the final ball just wide of the diving Spitfires captain Sam Billings to the boundary.
Rossouw clipped Henry’s first ball back into the attack off his legs into the Tavern stand to bring up his third fifty in this season’s competition off 54 balls. After reaching fifty he upped his scoring rate his next 27 runs came from 20 balls. His next fifty came from seven balls quicker than his first fifty. He reached his second Royal London ton of the season when he turned left arm spinner Imran Qayyum off his legs for a single.
Alsop pushed Darren Stevens out into the covers for a single to bring up his second fifty in this year’s Royal London cup as he and Rossouw added 136 for the first wicket, Hampshire’s first century opening partnership in 50 over cricket since 2013. Their partnership was broken when Billings brought left arm spinner brought Imran Qayyum into the attack and he struck with his second ball when he floated a wide one at Alsop and Billings easily stumped him.
Rossouw brought the Hampshire 250 up with a massive six over long on into the stand off Imran Qayyum and he took Hampshire past 260 with a fierce straight drive off Joe Denly which nearly took umpire Nick Cook out of the game. With eight overs remaining he decided it was time to put his foot on the accelerator but he died on his sword as clubbed a rank short ball from Denly to Alex Blake on the deep mid wicket boundary.
Imran Qayyum got his second wicket when Vince smacked him straight to Denly on the long on on boundary. Hampshire skipper James Vince and Rossouw added 57 in eight overs and their fifty partnership came off 38 balls, while these two were together score of 350 was on the cards but the fall of Rossouw’s wicket sparked a collapse from which they didn’t recover.
The Spitfires came back into the match with the fall of Rossouw’s wicket. Denly took another three Hampshire wickets as he became the first English spinner to take four wickets in a knock out final at Lord’s since Ray Illingworth too five for 29 against in the 1965 Gillette cup final for Yorkshire.
Liam Dawson came and went in a blink of an eye when bottom edged Denly to Blake at extra cover. The wicket was not only Denny’s second wicket but it produced a wicket maiden in the 44th over. Denly got his third wicket in his next over when Lewis McManus swept him and Sean Dickson running round from long off took the catch. Two balls later Joe Weatherley fresh from his ton at Emirates Old Trafford played back to the leg spinner and was leg before.
While these wickets were falling at the other end former Spitfires captain Sam Northeast hit an unbeaten 75 from 60 balls. It was his second fifty for Hampshire in two Royal London cup games.
When he came into was booed all the way to the crease by the Spitfires’ fans. They thought they had him when he cut Stevens but it just evaded Heino Kuhn at point and ran to the boundary. He got his own back on the Spitfires’ fans when he lofted Imran Qayyum over long on which hit the advertising sponge for a six.
To bowl the last over Billings surprisingly brought Haggett back into the attack after his first two overs had cost. But his faith was repaid when Haggett took a wicket and cost only eight runs.
Needing a record score to win the Spitfires needed Kuhn to hit a big century. After being worked over in the previous over he clipped a free hit off Chris Wood for the Spitfires first six of their chase. In the next over he drove Gareth Berg straight back over his head for a two bounce four to bring up the Spitfires fifty in the ninth over. But his brilliant run off form in this year’s competition ended when he pushed Chris Wood, who had changed ends to the Nursery end,out on the offside and set off for single. Berg’s underarm throw from a few yards ran him out out by a mile.
Daniel Bell-Drummond and Denly found the boundaries hard to come by when facing Berg and Dawson. They had to try something to break the shackels and Denly went for the big hit off Berg but skied it and Vince ran for mid off to take the catch.
Bell-Drummond took a liking to Mason Crane first over. In Crane’s first over Bell-Drummond smacked his second ball to the mid wicket boundary. He played a late cut to the next ball which went just wide of slip to the third man boundary. In Crane’s third over Bell-Drummond hit three fours relieving the pressure created by the maiden over from Dawson.
On 62, Bell-Drummond sliced a drive off Vince’s third ball but Rossouw at point couldn’t hold on to it.
Dickson gently pushed Vince for a straight to kick start his innings. Vince took himself off and brought back Crane, and Dickson got six runs from his first two balls and the Spitfires looked in control. But after two dot balls Dickson had a wild swing at Crane and the ball looped to Rossouw at point.
Skipper Billings came in at the fall of Dickson’s wicket with 20 overs left with 173 runs needed so there was time and wickets to get the runs but nobody could stick with Billings and there were three more run outs. Billings top scored with 75 and was the last man out.
Bell-Drummond tried to cut a ball that was too close to him and he played on to Wood. His 86 came from 89 balls and with his dismissal you felt that the Spitfires hopes were gone as well.
Blake clubbed Dawson over deep mid wicket for a six. Two balls later he clipped Dawson to fine leg and they set off for a couple but Blake couldn’t beat Crane’s throw and was run out by a foot.
Stevens smacked Berg for a flat six over square leg to bring up the Spitfires 200 but 17 runs later he drilled Dawson down Weatherley’s throat at long off who took a good catch looking into the sun. Dale Steyn cramped Henry for room as he pulled him to Alsop at the deep square leg boundary.
Haggett drove Steyn to Vince at mid on and set off for a casual run but he hit the ball too firmly and Haggett couldn’t beat Vince’s throw. Podmore became the fourth Spitfire run out victim when he couldn’t beat Dawson’s throw.
Posted on 10/04/2018
by Michael Blumberg