Handy rain helps Royals

Matt Prior
Matt Prior
Shahid Afridi. Picture: Neil Marshall

Afridi sends Hampshire into T20 Blast last four

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Hampshire were saved by the rain as they claimed their place in the quarter-finals of the Friends Life t20 last night.

The Royals booked their spot in the last eight of the competition for the fourth consecutive year.

But they had to rely on the miserable weather to do them a favour as their clash with Sussex was abandoned just before the midway point in the contest.

Dimi Mascarenhas’ side were on the receiving end of a phenomenal Matt Prior knock as neighbours Sussex blazed to a mighty 203 for five in the 18th over of their innings.

The England Test wicketkeeper/batsman hammered 81 from just 37 balls as he clattered the Hampshire bowlers around the park for 11 fours and three sixes with some exceptional strokes.

But with the hosts facing a huge task, torrential rain arrived at the Ageas Bowl and the match was abandoned with both sides taking one point each.

That means, at the very least, the Royals will qualify as one of the best third-placed teams from the three groups.

Having won the competition in 2010 and making finals day last year, the Royals will fancy their chances again after reaching the knockout stage.

But they could yet boost their chances by claiming a home draw in the quarter-finals if they can beat Essex tomorrow in their final South Group game to seal the runners-up berth behind Sussex.

– STEVE WILSON

Adams: We got lucky

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