Hampshire’s hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the Royal London Cup are still alive after they coasted to a six-wicket win over Kent Spitfires at Beckenham.
Ian Holland ripped out Kent’s top order with four for 12 as the hosts failed to bat out their overs, despite a rain-reduction to 24 per side. Scott Currie took two for four as the Spitfires were all out for 105.
The Duckworth Lewis Method pushed the target up to just 107 and Hampshire chased it down with relative ease, finishing on 107 for four, Tom Alsop the top scorer with 37 and Holland hitting an unbeaten 30.
Kent have now been eliminated, regardless of the outcome of Thursday’s final scheduled match with Gloucestershire at Beckenham, a fixture in doubt due to the Covid outbreak that saw today’s match between Gloucestershire and Middlesex cancelled.
The prospects of play looked remote as steady rain fell throughout the morning, but conditions improved and play started at 2.30pm, with the match initially reduced to 27 overs per side.
Kent’s openers actually made a bright start after being asked to bat, but after moving to 42 without loss, Tawanda Muyeye was bowled by John Turner for 24.
Holland then instigated a collapse when he claimed two wickets in the twelfth over. Ollie Robinson was caught by James Fuller at deep square leg for 27 and Jack Leaning was subsequently caught and bowled for 11. In Holland’s next over, Harry Finch chipped him to Nick Gubbins and was out for nought.
Kent had reached 70 for four before a shower sent the players sprinting to the pavilion, trimming the match by a further three overs per side, and if anything their batting got worse when play resumed. Darren Stevens made just eight when Holland had him caught by Felix Organ and Grant Stewart was run out for four, by a direct hit from Tom Scriven, chasing a single that could best be described as optimistic.
Joe Gordon made nine on his List A debut before he holed out to Scriven and was caught by Organ and Currie then bowled Harry Podmore for eight before getting Hamid Qadri lbw for five.
Kyle Abbott wrapped up the innings when Matt Quinn was caught by Tom Prest and Hampshire made short work of the chase.
The Spitfires’ hopes flickered when Quinn took two quick wickets, strangling Prest down the leg side where he was caught behind for two and then bowling Gubbins, also for two, to reduce the visitors to 23 for two, but Hampshire put on 40 for the next wicket before Alsop chopped Podmore to Finch, who took a sharp catch at point.
By the time Joe Weatherley was caught by Muyeye off Podmore for 25 Gloucestershire needed just another 15 for victory with six wickets in hand and Fuller smacked Podmore for six to clinch the win with 34 balls to spare.