An exceptional innings from Jimmy Adams (97) in his 100th List A appearance was unable to see Hampshire secure a Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final place as Gloucestershire claimed victory by four wickets in the quarter-final match at Bristol.
Hampshire recovered well from the loss of early wickets with Adams anchoring the innings, before a destructive 25-ball fifty from Will Smith (50) advanced the visitors to a commanding total.
A battling knock from Michael Klinger (87) led Gloucestershire’s chasing effort and despite tight middle-over spells restricting the hosts, an incredible 17-ball thrash from Jack Taylor (34) saw his side narrowly over the line.
After being asked to bat first, Hampshire struggled to begin with two wickets falling inside the opening two overs to reduce them to 1-2.
Adams and James Vince (31) led the fightback and the duo battled hard in tough conditions to see the total to 68-2 after the opening 15 overs.
However, another wicket soon fell with Vince the man to depart shortly after thanks to an athletic diving catch from Hamish Marshall off the bowling of the impressive Jack Taylor (1-30).
Adams continued to rotate the strike and build his innings nicely and his hard work was rewarded when he brought up his deserved half-century to see the away-side move to 111-3 with 24 overs gone.
Two further wickets fell in quick succession but Adams remained, and as he was joined by Smith the pair set about increasing the rate considerably to reach a large total.
The right-hander looked to attack from the off and both batsman displayed an array of destructive hitting to advance the total at a tremendous rate with the pair sharing a 69-run stand off just 33 balls.
Adams was unfortunate to fall just short of his first competitive century of the season but Smith continued to find the boundary with astonishing efficiency in the closing overs to see 106 runs come from the final 10 overs and a competitive total posted.
An early wicket for Fidel Edwards (1-31) then restricted the hosts early in their reply. Klinger sought to lead the fightback and he looked in good touch once again to help lead the total past 50 but when Liam Dawson (1-33) struck inside his opening over, the home-side were pegged-back once again.
Yasir Arafat (3-56) and Chris Wood (1-27) then each picked up a first wicket to remove the dangerous duo of Hamish Marshall (9) and Benny Howell (9) and the required rate continued to rise with Gloucestershire still requiring 114 from just 13 overs.
A tight four overs ensured boundaries became infrequent, however Klinger remained and with 62 required from the final 7 overs, a tight finish seemed likely.
It was Arafat who claimed the prized wicket of Klinger, however an important knock from Geraint Jones (39) and some spectacular blows from Jack Taylor (34), took Gloucestershire from needing 51 runs from five overs to just 15 runs needed from the final three.
Although the latter departed with just 11 runs required, Jones secured the victory in style with a six over long-on to see his side advance and Hampshire ultimately falling just short.
Words: Will Brewster