Vince Hits Classy Fifty in Narrow Essex Defeat

James Vince scored 62 runs off 50 balls as Hampshire lost by three runs in the NatWest T20 Blast

Hampshire skipper James Vince produced a terrific 62-run knock as his side suffered a narrow three-run defeat to Essex Eagles in the NatWest T20 Blast at the Ageas Bowl.

Vince reached fifty off 37 balls, hitting nine boundaries along the way, three days after featuring in England’s memorable T20 victory over Sri Lanka at Hampshire’s home.

Brad Wheal made his NatWest T20 Blast debut as England all-rounder Liam Dawson helped reduce Essex to 153-6 with some economic spin bowling, but Hampshire fell four runs short of their 154-run target.

After Essex won the toss and elected to bat first, Gareth Andrew provided the breakthrough for Hampshire, tempting Velani to drive over mid-off. His mistimed effort fell to James Vince, who caught coolly.

Vince then produced a moment of magic in the field to remove Ryder (22), as Essex were making real ground with the bat, diving full-length to remove the away side’s danger batsman to raucous applause from the Ageas Bowl crowd.

At 78-3, the game had swung back in Hampshire’s favour, having removed all three top order batsmen with excellent catches.

Despite taking another eight overs to remove their next target, Liam Dawson and Shahid Afridi bowled economically and prevented the Essex pair of Ravi Bopara and Ashar Zaidi from scoring runs at a damaging rate.

Essex went five overs without reaching the boundary.

Zaidi looked set for his fifty in the final over the innings but he was run out by Carberry, who was proving to be a particularly effective asset in the field for Hampshire.

Essex were reduced to 153-6 after their 20 overs, after Ervine caught ten Doeschate (8) from the bowling of Andrew (2-35), setting Hampshire an achievable target of 154 runs.

Vince and Carberry seemed to relish the task in hand and climbed to 42 without loss, showing experience, touch and great communication to put Hampshire in a commanding position in the fifth over.

Hampshire were dealt a setback when Carberry (24) was caught at deep mid-wicket by Westley, then Tom Alsop (0) was caught and bowled by Lawrence two balls later. Having made 42 without loss, the home side were 43-2.

Vince (62) looked in the zone as he reached fifty off 37 balls, hitting nine to the boundary along the way, three days after featuring in England’s memorable victory over Sri Lanka at the Ageas Bowl.

After Dawson and Sean Ervine were caught, and a brief injection of power-hitting from Shahid Afridi (10)James Vince was finally removed by Graham Napier, but not before making 62 off 50 balls. 

Needing 30 off the final 18 balls, the match was finely balanced but McManus smashed a huge maximum to put Hampshire back on top, after pushing one to the boundary.

Hampshire required four off the last two balls but Bopara’s clever bowling denied Hampshire of a second victory in the competition and the home side fell just short of the victory target.