Hampshire get first win

Hamza Riazuddin played a big role in the success. Picture: Neil Marshall

Hamza Riazuddin played a big role in the success. Picture: Neil Marshall

Reece Topley celebrates the wicket of Tim Bresnan for Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl. Picture: Neil Marshall

Things didn’t Ballance in Hampshire’s favour

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Some things are worth waiting for.

Watching the rain hose down in Cardiff is not everyone’s cup of tea.

But Hampshire will have no complaints after registering their first win of the new season.

It was a pulsating and frantic run-chase that saw them scamper home by two wickets, with just one ball to spare.

Ice-cool Hamza Riazuddin (12 not out) was the man to hit the winning runs against Glamorgan.

His stroke was straight out of the t20 slogger’s manual.

But it was Sean Ervine’s quick-fire 75 that led them to the brink of victory to steer Jimmy Adams’ men to a much-needed booster.

With Hampshire starting the final day needing 92 runs to win, with six wickets in hand, the game was well-poised.

But the regular Cardiff showers had other ideas, appearing almost at every moment when some cricket was about to be played.

Just nine balls were bowled in an aborted afternoon session at 4.15pm.

Michael Bates (13) fell but it was then left to Ervine and a hobbling Michael Carberry and Chris Wood to get the visitors to within sight of the win when the umpires got the teams out for one final push.

With 92 still needed and only time for 16.3 overs, Ervine took centre stage – the ideal man for an occasion that needed some big hitting.

Ervine has his critics for his occasional losses in concentration, but he shouldered the responsibility superbly.

The situation was tailor-made for him – only he fell with the victory line in sight.

With less than three overs to go, it was left to Riazuddin and David Balcombe to find 14 runs with just two wickets in hand and only 12 balls remaining.

With all four results still possible, the tension was palpable, even though there was barely anyone left inside the Swalec Stadium to see it.

While most had given up in frustration at the weather, those who stayed got a treat.

Riazuddin looks a different player this season.

Fresh from his five-wicket haul on Saturday, he kept his nerve in the final over to hit the winning runs to the roars of delight from the visitors’ balcony.

Hampshire have lost the winning habit in recent seasons but this could yet prove to be a vital turning point in their fortunes.

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