A MAGNIFICENT century from Sean Ervine was the highlight of Hampshire’s 53-run CB40 triumph over Leicestershire.
The Zimbabwean hammered 136 off just 116 balls – smashing 10 fours and three maximums in the process – as the Royals posted 273 for three off their 40 overs yesterday.
Bowling figures of three for 30 from England Lions bowler Danny Briggs then helped restrict the Foxes to 220 for nine in reply.
Hampshire had earlier won the toss and opted to bat in bright sunshine at the Rose Bowl.
This didn’t look a fantastic decision when James Vince was bowled by Alex Wyatt in only the fifth over.
However, Ervine joined Jimmy Adams out in the middle and the pair accelerated the scoring – Ervine clubbing the first six of the afternoon over mid-wicket in the 10th over.
Acting captain Adams (38) then inexplicably cut straight to James Taylor at point, again off the bowling of Wyatt.
The returning Neil McKenzie joined Ervine at the crease and for the next 24 overs the duo put the visiting Foxes to the sword.
Ervine moved to his half-century in the 18th over and, after being dropped on 98, brought up his ton moments later off just 94 balls.
McKenzie joined the party, going past 50, before Ervine’s innings finally came to an end when he was bowled by Wayne White for 136.
Liam Dawson (12 not out) and McKenzie (72 not out) added another 30 before the Hants’ innings closed on 273 for three.
Leicestershire’s reply began well for the hosts, with Chris Wood having Josh Cobb caught behind for eight and Adams brilliantly running out Will Jefferson.
Nineteen for two became 52 for three when Jacques Du Toit was superbly caught on the boundary by Liam Dawson off the bowling of Dimi Mascarenhas.
An excellent century partnership between Taylor and Paul Nixon frustrated the Royals. But Taylor’s demise for a fantastic 72 – lbw to Briggs – put Hants firmly in the box seat.
Nixon went soon after, run out by a great throw from the deep by Benny Howell, for 54.
And Wayne White followed for just three, bowled by Briggs.
Matthew Boyce was the left-armer’s next victim, again bowled, for 13.
Spin-twin Imran Tahir accounted for Jigar Naik, stumped by Michael Bates, and Wood had Nathan Buck lbw as the Leicestershire innings came to an end on 220 for nine.