Hampshire served up another awful batting display as they were destroyed by Somerset in their latest Natwest T20 Blast clash.
In front of the biggest crowd of the season at the Ageas Bowl of 6,400, Hampshire’s batsmen misfired badly for the second time in three games as they were bowled out for just 116 to go down by 39 runs.
The home side looked in good shape at the midway point in the contest as they restricted Somerset to 155 for four from their 20 overs.
Although Craig Kieswetter (60) and Alviro Petersen (38 not out) helped post a total, the innings never appeared to accelerate towards a score that would put real pressure on Hampshire.
But it was more than enough as signs of some worryingly brittle batting crept in once again – just as it did at Surrey.
James Vince was out to a first-ball duck, just as he was in the reverse fixture at Taunton, with fears growing that his rich vein of form over the first half of the campaign has hit the buffers after a run of low scores.
Jimmy Adams (seven) lobbed an easy catch skywards and when Will Smith (16) launched a full toss straight down the throat of a fielder, it left Hampshire in big trouble at 33 for three.
If ever a time Glenn Maxwell was required to find some form, it was then but a shambolic run out with Michael Carberry accounted for the Australian.
In fairness, to Maxwell, it probably wasn’t his fault as he returned for a second run that was definitely there, only to be sent back when he was already two thirds of the way down the pitch.
Carberry (10) departed the same way in the same over, as he was well short of his ground when Thomas threw down his stumps.
Sean Ervine (four) then had a rush of blood as he was stumped to leave Hampshire rocking at 41 for six.
Matt Coles (25) played some gutsy shots before he holed out to end a 42-run stand with Chris Wood (14), who gave his wicket away with a dreadful attempted flick over his head – just as he did at Surrey.
Kyle Abbott (16) and Michael Bates (15) briefly raised the hopes of the despondent home supporters, but few genuinely expected them to rescue a situation that had long looked lost.
While Hampshire’s batting has often been their most reliable asset, there are worrying signs that a meltdown like this is becoming increasingly familiar.