1 Aug 2021 | Royal London Cup 2021
115 for 2
162 all out
Lancashire win by 51 runs (DLS Method)

Match Report: Hampshire v Lancashire, Royal London Cup

Read the match report from Hampshire's Royal London Cup match against Essex Eagles at The Ageas Bowl in July 2021

Luke Wells scored an impressive List A best 66 not out as unbeaten Lancashire completed a comfortable 51-run Royal London Cup victory, on Duckworth Lewis Stern regulations, against Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl.

Heavy rain arrived at 4.35pm, preventing any further play after Lancashire had reached 115 for 2 from 25.3 overs in reply to Hampshire’s 162 all out, with Wells hitting 12 fours in a superb 62-ball knock to put his side well ahead on DLS.

But the win was really set up by Lancashire’s brilliant effort in the field earlier in the day, with Tom Bailey (3 for 23) and George Balderson (3 for 25) the stand-out performers.

Bailey, Lancashire’s captain, led by example with a six-over new ball spell of 2 for 18 and later the wicket of Hampshire’s top-scorer Lewis McManus, who batted with skill and spirit with six fours in a 51-ball 45.

McManus was ninth out, fighting a lone battle after Bailey and Balderson had undermined the innings after Lancashire won the toss and, with poor weather forecast, opted to bowl.

Bailey’s fast-medium accounted for Tom Alsop, well-held at point for 7 in the third over, and 18-year-old Tom Prest, caught at second slip for 9.

Nick Gubbins looked in good order, quickly reaching 31 with six stroked fours, but then became the first of Balderson’s scalps when he carved to point.

Medium-pacer Balderson, settling into a probing line around off stump and finding a little seam movement, then had both Ian Holland and Joe Weatherley leg-before, for 1 and 17 respectively.

From 81 for 5, Hampshire were briefly rallied by McManus – who lofted Keaton Jennings over mid off for four and then cut him hard to the ropes – and James Fuller, who added 40.

But Fuller, on 17, became another Hampshire batsman to depart, lobbing a straightforward return catch to the pacy Liam Hurt off a leading edge as he tried to work to mid wicket.

Danny Lamb had Felix Organ lbw for 7, with a full ball angled into his pads, and Scott Currie was smartly stumped by George Lavelle for 2 when slow left arm spinner Jack Morley beat the outside edge as Currie advanced down the pitch.

Morley conceded just 10 runs from seven controlled overs, his excellent action catching the eye, but it was Lancashire’s seam attack that continued to do most of the damage – Bailey returning to snare McManus, caught at extra cover from another leading edge, and Lamb having Kyle Abbott caught behind for 9 to finish with 2 for 33.

Lancashire’s chase began edgily, in front of a good-sized crowd, with Josh Bohannon skying a pull at John Turner to mid wicket to go for 5, and Fuller reduced them to 44 for 2 when Jennings edged a fine ball behind in the fast bowler’s first over.

But former Sussex left-hander Wells soon eased any Lancashire fears. Having driven Holland’s medium pace for three fours in four balls in the 12th over, he then took two more boundaries from Fuller’s second over before hitting the same bowler exquisitely through extra cover and steering him to the third man ropes.

Rob Jones also batted with quiet assurance, moving to an unbeaten 24 from 41 balls while supporting Wells in an unbroken third wicket partnership of 71 in 13 overs that confirmed Lancashire’s superiority.