The match was billed as Simon Jones' home debut. What wasn't mentioned was that it was also James Vince's home 20/20 debut (only his third 20/20, amazingly), and on the night it was the teenager with a huge future rather than the 31 year old fast bowler with a huge legacy who walked away with the honours. Having won the toss Cork didn't hesitate to bat first - the track looked a belter, and the weather was such that dew wouldn't really be a factor in the second innings. Gloucestershire had on display their latest Kiwi, Redmond, whilst their usual captain Gidman was probably off sulking somewhere as Porterfield took charge. Gloucs opened the bowling with the spinner Taylor, Lumb whipping the first ball to square leg where the boundary rider made a mess and let the ball go for four. It proved to be the first in a long string of fielding errors that blighted the match. Taylor's first and only over went for eight. Hussain found Adams' edge early on as Hampshire's leading 20/20 run scorer departed early. Vince joined Lumb at the crease and Lumb finally showed the shots that got him a place in the World 20/20 team. A rather funny moment came when Ireland celebrated thinking he had found Lumb's edge, but the Ump said no. after a few words and stares were exchanged, Ireland bowled the next ball which Lumb happily deposited into the crowd at long on.
Lumb was run out attempting a third that was never on, but that only served to bring in Neil McKenzie, who started slowly but quickly matched Vince shot for shot as the pair put on over 100, a flat six down the ground from Vince and THE perfect cover drive from McKenzie (with Adams as runner) the highlights. Both were dropped off the bowling of Dawson early doors, the drop at mid on the very worst of them, but good players don't dwell on past mistakes, as both players found the gaps with ease and 50s were the order of the day. McKenzie brought his up with a monster six but was gone the next ball stumped. Vince plowed on but feathered a Dawson ball to short third man for a brilliant 77. Ervine and Cork were at the crease and after a nudgy start Slug found his range and struck some fine 4s. Cork found the square leg crowd before he found that 2 could not be made into 3 off the penultimate ball of the innings. However that 2 brought up the 200 for Hampshire, whilst Ervine found the long on boundary with the last ball of the innings to give Hampshire a score of 205.
The Gloucestershire innings very nearly got off to the perfect start. Cork found Redmond's edge first ball but Dawson juggled then dropped the ball at first slip. He attoned however by gobbling up Porterloo next over off Wood with a diving catch to the right at first slip again. Redmond looked in good touch before first headering a ball to the boundary then edging a riser from Wood to Pothas in the 4th over. Taylor too struck well before picking out Dawson at mid on. 36-3. Then came the innings that I thought would win the game for Gloucs. Dent and Franklin made batting look easy, giving Slug serious tap including a huge six from Franklin that took about 5 minutes to find the ball. The pair got Gloucs up to 114 with no issues as even Jones appeared nullified once Dent got over the fact that an Ashes winner was bowling at him. It was Briggs who made the vital breakthrough, having Franklin caught on the boundary for an excellent 46 or something. The new man, Snell, did not appear daunted either, as it became clear that the only way to win would be to bowl dot balls. The pair put on 50 in double quick time as the required rate hung around 12-15 per over. Jones came on to bowl the 18th over with Gloucs still needing 47 to win, though with 6 wickets in hand. After a single and a couple of dots, Jones removed the bails with a nice straight one to Snell, and from there Gloucs crumpled. Jones' over went for three, as Dawson was run out by Batty off the last ball of the over and Hampshire were as good as done.
Briggs and his spin was trusted with the 19th over and he started pretty well! An attempted reverse Dent sweep resulted in no bat-on-ball contact, though there was plenty of interaction between the pads and ball for the Umpire to rule Dent out. The slogger Lewis attempted to heave a yorker into next Wednesday, but as so happens with trying to hit yorkers for six, the end result was Lewis walking back to the pavilion, and Briggs was on a hattrick!! The ball just missed the top of the stumps, but again it was a dot ball. The over went for very few, 4 infact, and Wood had the luxury of bowling the final over with plenty of runs to play with. Vince bucked the worrying trend by taking a diving steepler on the boundary to get Gloucs nine down, before Wood's seemingly trademark run-out off his own bowling ended the innings and a suddenly comfortable victory was the result. The end was certainly not predicted by anyone 2 and a half overs previously, when Gloucs still had 6 wickets in hand, but scoreboard pressure ultimately decided the match. McKenzie's tweaked groin means that he's out of the Essex match, and Carbs replaces him. No other changes are to be made.
DC Watch: With a slight hobble, Dan Christian took part in pre-match training, before running 3 laps of the boundary. I'm of the opinion that he'll be back available earlier than first predicted.
It will be okay
3 months ago