Hampshire Academy succumbed to a difficult 56-run defeat against South Wilts in their Southern Electric Premier T20 Semi-Final match at the Ageas Bowl.
Quick-fire half-centuries for James Hayward (56) and Eddie Abel (71) initially guided the visitors to 227-3 from their allotted 20 overs.
Some tidy bowling from Stephen Warner (3-28) and Luke Evans (2-34) restricted Hampshire in their pursuit and with Ben Duggan (36) the only batsman to pass 30, South Wilts picked up the victory and with it advance to the final of this year’s competition.
After winning the toss and elected to bat first, South Wilts skipper Tom Morton (24) led from the front as he began with early boundaries whilst opening partner Hayward also looked in excellent form from the off. Despite the loss of Morton, Hayward built nicely with Abel as the pair sought to post a mammoth total.
Hayward departed shortly after his fifty but late hitting from Jack Mynott (48*) accelerated the scoring rate further to see South Wilts ’move beyond 200 as their impressive batting effort concluded.
Hampshire looked to attack from the off in reply, however thanks to efficient opening spells from Rob Pittman (1-18), Ryan Duffield (1-32) and Luke Evans (2-34), scoring at the required rate quickly proved to be difficult and the home-side soon fell to 77-5.
Duggan, Harry Came (27) and Andy Gorvin (26) all offered good resistance and looked to score quickly with some hefty blows. Despite their best efforts, the away-sides formidable total proved to be too tall an order for Hampshire and eventually the innings concluded on 171-9 to see South Wilts through to the final.