Another day, another Friends Life t20 stroll for Hampshire.
The Royals sauntered back to the top of the South Group with a seven-wicket win at Surrey and barely had to break sweat to do so as they eased home with 10 balls to spare.
Chasing Surrey’s 126 for six, Sean Ervine (28 not out) and Liam Dawson (24 not out) finished the job with minimal fuss. But it was the bowlers’ efforts – most notably Chris Wood – that set the Royals up for their latest victory with a fine display.
With a low target to chase, the pressure was never too great on the Royals, especially after another useful knock from Michael Carberry (25) at the top of the order, although he holed out in the deep just as he was looking like going through the gears.
James Vince (14) had been the first man to depart with his stumps rearranged by Azhar Mahmood
Jimmy Adams (29) looked in good touch but was then needlessly run out attempting a tight second run, even though there was little value in risking it.
But Ervine appears to have rediscovered his missing batting mojo and looked far more at ease with his game.
One trademark six that sailed into the stands through mid-wicket was testament that the Zimbabwean was back in the groove but he played a sensible knock to get his side home.
With the ball, it was another disciplined display from Hampshire, with Wood turning in a terrific spell to end with figures of two for 21 to choke the life out of the home side.
Surrey had made an excellent start to their innings, racing to 33 without loss inside three overs before Mascarenhas bowled Jason Roy to start the clatter of wickets.
Vince then took a brilliant catch diving forward at extra cover to remove former Australian captain Ricky Ponting for just three.
And the collapse continued as Surrey were reduced to 44 for four – losing four wickets in 18 balls.
The quality out-fielding continued, with Wood taking an exceptional running catch on the boundary to dismiss Zafar Ansari as the Royals tightened their grip.
And although Surrey rebuilt their innings, they never really recovered any of the early momentum as a dearth of boundaries spanned the fourth over to the 18th as the Londoners crawled to their lowly total.