Royals reach finals day

Hampshire's Danny Briggs
Hampshire's Danny Briggs
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Danny Briggs claimed five wickets as Hampshire sealed their place in the Friends Life t20 finals day for the second consecutive year with a 55-run success over Durham.

The Isle of Wight-born spinner ended his four-over spell with five for 19 as the Royals’ total of 154 for six proved far too many for the Dynamos, who were bowled out for 99.

Hampshire recovered from a poor start – that saw Shahid Afridi run out without facing a ball in the first over – to post a decent total from their 20 overs.

Neil McKenzie (56) and Sean Ervine (35) rebuilt the innings after the Royals lost three early wickets.

The duo put on a vital partnership of 66 but it was McKenzie – fresh from his double century in the County Championship draw with Yorkshire – who played the anchor role to dig his team out of serious trouble.

But Hampshire’s three-pronged spin attack of Briggs, Afridi (two for 13) and Imran Tahir (one for 18) – the team’s major weapon in this year’s competition – came to the fore once again as Durham struggled.

And it was Briggs who was the tormentor in chief.

Meanwhile, wicketkeeper Michael Bates was in razor-sharp form behind the stumps with one catch and two stumpings.