Majestic Alsop Century Steers Hampshire To Opening 50-over Victory

Tom Alsop struck a majestic 112*, whilst Reece Topley claimed three wickets as Hampshire claimed a six-wicket victory in their opening 50-over contest against Kent

Tom Alsop struck a majestic century to steer Hampshire to a comfortable six-wicket win over Kent in their first Royal London One-Day Cup contest of the season at Canterbury.

Alsop (112*) batted with patience and poise to begin his innings, the left-hander then kicking on to reach three-figures, the landmark coming up in 124 balls and featuring 12 boundaries.

Reece Topley (3-65) and the Hampshire bowling attack had earlier reduced Kent to 258 in their first-innings, before James Vince (69 from 50 balls) and Alsop raced along to help Hampshire seize control.

Alsop then continued to press home the advantage, guiding Hampshire to victory with 29 balls to spare and with six wickets in hand.

After being inserted, Kent began their innings well through openers Daniel Bell-Drummond (56) and Joe Denly (46) - the duo building a solid foundation and sharing a 94-run stand for the first wicket.

Denly was the first of the pair to fall however, Liam Dawson (2-41) making the breakthrough before Mason Crane (2-44) also picked up his first wicket with the hosts 128-2.

Bell-Drummond looked in ominous form and will have been eyeing a big score, however Sean Ervine (1-17) ensured he departed quickly after his half-century, Chris Wood taking a good catch in the deep.

Hampshire's Ian Holland, making his club debut after featuring previously for the Second XI, then grabbed his first List A scalp, the dangerous Sam Northeast (17) dismissed with the total at 164-4.

Wickets continued to tumble in the middle-order, Crane trapping Alex Blake (9) LBW, before Topley removed Wayne Parnell (3) in the following over as Kent stumbled at 194-6 after 38 overs.

Darren Stevens (60) looked in good touch for the home-side, the right-hander battling hard to reach fifty. But when Holland picked up his second, alongside another for Dawson, Kent found themselves 224-8 with just five overs remaining.

Topley then removed the tail with minimal fuss to bring an end to the Kent innings with two balls still remaining.

Set a target of 259 for victory, Hampshire lost Michael Carberry to a good delivery from Parnell with jus the second delivery of their reply.

However, the arrival of Vince alongside Alsop saw the pair quickly begin the visitors' recovery - the pair guiding the total to 102-1 after just 14 overs courtesy of regular boundaries.

Vince was first to his half-century, the landmark coming off just 30 balls as the skipper found the boundary at will in his blistering knock.

No doubt with a hundred on the cards, Vince's innings was brought to a swift end as he was adjudged to be LBW, however Alsop continued and reached his fifty shortly after Vince's departure.

The 21-year-old was joined by Dawson (19) and Jimmy Adams (22) who both got starts looking in good touch, but it was Ervine (33*) who was alongside Alsop as Hampshire closed in on the win.

All that remained was for the opener to reach his deserved century, and he did so with Hampshire requiring just 11 runs from 33 balls.

Two crunching boundaries from Ervine saw that number become single figures and it was fittingly Alsop who landed the final blow as he carved his 13th four to take Hampshire safely to victory.