24 Jun 2022 | Vitality Blast 2022
169 for 7
178 for 7
Hampshire Hawks win by 9 runs

Hampshire boosted their chances of a place in the Vitality Blast quarter-finals with a nine-run South Group victory over Gloucestershire at the Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol. 

The Hawks posted 178 for seven after losing the toss, opener Ben McDermott leading the way with 50, including 2 sixes and 5 fours. Ryan Higgins claimed three for 24.  

In reply, the hosts slumped to 64 for five before James Bracey (40) and Jack Taylor (37) doubled that total for the sixth wicket and Benny Howell blasted 34 off just 13 balls as they closed on 169 for seven. 

Former Gloucestershire player James Fuller was the pick of an impressive Hawks attack with two for 23 from his four overs as they moved into the top four in the group.

Left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir did an excellent job for Gloucestershire in the initial six-over powerplay, removing both Hampshire top scorers from their victory over Somerset at Taunton 24 hours earlier. 

James Vince, who went into the game as the leading run-maker in the Blast with 528, added 15 to that tally before edging a back-foot forcing shot through to wicketkeeper Bracey in the third over. 

It was 49 for two in the sixth when Tom Prest departed to another Bracey catch, advancing to drive Amir, who went on to take two for 31. 

By then McDermott had his eye in, pulling a six and a four off successive balls from David Payne. The Australian plundered another ten runs off two deliveries in the tenth over, sent down by leg-spinner Taylor. 

Tom Smith put a brake on the scoring rate by bowling Joe Weatherley for 17 with a ball that turned in the 12th over, which saw McDermott move to a 36-ball half-century. 

He was bowled around his legs, moving across his stumps, by Payne in the next over to make it 103 for four.  

Ross Whiteley threatened briefly, hitting Smith for a four and six before falling leg-before, swinging across a full toss from Ryan Higgins, who also sent back Toby Albert in the 16th over. 

But Fuller (22) and Liam Dawson (20 not out) ensured the Hawks of a competitive total with a seventh-wicket stand of 38 from 20 balls. 

The home side’s reply started badly when Miles Hammond was caught at extra cover off the second ball, bowled by Chris Wood. 

Chris Dent provided early momentum with three successive fours of Wood’s second over before two quick wickets in the final one of the powerplay. 

Fuller had Ian Cockbain caught off a leading edge for 19 and then bowled Dent through the gate for 24 to leave Gloucestershire 48 for three. 

Brad Wheal had Glenn Phillips caught at mid-off off a miscue with no addition to the score and, with rain in the air, the hosts were suddenly behind the required rate under DLS. 

Their position worsened in the eighth over when Dawson turned a ball past Higgins outside edge and bowled him for nine. By the halfway point in their innings, Gloucestershire were 78 for five, requiring a further 101. 

It never looked on as the Hawks bowlers and Fuller in particular held their nerve to contain Bracey and Taylor, who was dropped on 11, but could never completely find his timing.  

Both players hit straight sixes in the 15th over, bowled by Wheal. But when Bracey was caught at long-off in the 17th, the asking rate was up around 14 an over. 

A brilliant last onslaught by ex-Hampshire player Howell, with 3 fours and 2 sixes, was not enoug and Taylor's wicket in the last over ended Gloucestershire hopes.