Adams Sets Up Memorable Hampshire Win

Jimmy Adams scored 92 as Hants sealed a 9-run victory over Sussex Sharks in the One Day Cup

Jimmy Adams hit 92 runs off 97 balls on his return from illness to set up an unforgettable victory for a resurgent Hampshire over local rivals Sussex Sharks in the Royal London One Day Cup at Hove.

Ryan McLaren (3-54) took three wickets to help prevent the Sharks from reaching Hampshire's 269-run target, to which he added 46 valuable runs, and Brad Wheal continued to bowl with maturity to seal an impressive triumph for the visitors.

Hants are one of five teams tied in third place in the standings, with three wins in six matches and a real chance of qualifying for the final stages of the One Day Cup.   

Sussex Sharks won the toss and opted to put Hampshire in to bat first – a decision which former Hants skipper Adams took full advantage of, setting the tone by hitting the second ball of the match to the boundary, looking in good touch. The illness that had kept him out of the action against Kent on Tuesday was nowhere to be seen.

After Tom Alsop (13) was caught by an excellent low catch from George Garton, Adam Wheater (42) injected real positivity with the bat and his fifty partnership with Adams arrived quickly – Hampshire surpassed 100 runs in the 20th over.

Adams reached his half-ton off just 51 balls, hitting his first maximum and sixth four to take Hants beyond the century mark; the veteran’s innings displayed both freedom and control.

Hampshire had scored 87 runs without loss before Wheater’s strong contribution was ended by a superb Chris Jordan run out, but the visitors lost four wickets for 66 runs.

Garton found an edge from Adams to deny him of a deserved century and removed Liam Dawson (15), after Sean Ervine (14) was trapped at lbw by Will Beer. Hampshire were halted on 190-5.

McLaren hit the shot of the day to take Hampshire past 200 and the South African all-rounder led Hants towards a competitive total by firing six boundaries in just his second List-A match for the club.

McLaren finished unbeaten on 46 off 39 balls, as the visitors posted 268-9 after 50 overs.

Hampshire made a great start with the ball, as Gareth Andrew and Ryan McLaren removed the Sharks’ opening pair – Salt and Joyce – and reduced the home side to 45-2 after 14 overs.

Liam Dawson took six wickets when Hampshire hosted Sussex on the very same day in 2015, and his spin proved highly effective, defeating Harry Finch (19) and restricting the strike rate of the home batsman, cut to 81-3 by the England all-rounder.

Sussex dangerman Luke Wright is capable of producing a devastating knock but, soon after he’d taken the Sharks past 100, Brad Wheal forced him to play an ugly pull shot to Andrew, whose catch halted the home side on 109-4.

With Sussex’s main batting threat out of the picture, Ben Brown and Chris Nash produced a resilient hundred partnership for the fifth wicket at more than six runs an over, putting the Sharks in contention, requiring 63 off the final 36 balls.

The game began to tilt in favour of the home side as Nash brought up his half-ton with a maximum. At 231-4, Sussex needed 38 runs off 24 balls.

McLaren removed the key man though, as McManus dived athletically to catch Brown (62), and then bowled Jordan (8) to swing the game Hampshire's way once more, and 17 off the final over proved too much for the Sharks, restricted by a super final over from Wheal. 

Hampshire's fine victory over their South Coast rivals takes them to joint third in the standings, with five teams now tied with three wins in six matches.