Hampshire prepare for final push

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

Hampshire are preparing to battle for Caribbean t20 glory.

The Royals, who were crowned Friends Provident t20 champions last summer, booked their spot in the final with a four-run victory over the Windward Islands in the semis on Saturday night.

Giles White's men will face Trinidad & Tobago in the final at midnight tonight.

New signing Johann Myburgh, who has been in stunning form at the top of the order throughout the competition in the West Indies, was once again the star of the show in the semi-final.

The South African right-hander smashed six sixes in his 58-ball 88, which matched Andre Fletcher's top score in the tournament.

With decent contributions from skipper Jimmy Adams (22) and James Vince, who struck two maximums on his way to 36, Hampshire rattled up 166 for four in their 20 overs after winning the toss in Barbados.

Myburgh needed a runner for much of his innings after pulling up with an injury.

However, he refused to sit out of the Windward Islands' reply. He even bowled two overs as Darren Sammy's side were restricted to 162.

Simon Jones – the tournament's leading wicket-taker – added another two wickets to his tally with two for 42.

But the crucial contribution was made by former England under-19 skipper Hamza Riazuddin, who removed key men Sammy (20) and Fletcher (44) in consecutive deliveries.

The 21-year-old all-rounder finished with figures of four for 15, his best in t20 cricket.

And his performance was not lost on hero Myburgh.

The Hampshire new-boy, who was named man-of-the-match for his brilliant innings, said: 'Riaz produced a magnificent spell of bowling on that pitch.

'To take four wickets in twenty20 cricket is something very special.'

In the second semi-final, Trinidad & Tobago defeated Jamaica by eight wickets.

Chasing 137 to win – and take on Hampshire in the final – Trinidad got home with 13 balls to spare.

Lendl Simmons starred with the bat as he struck 51 in the chase.

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