Royals’ t20 reign is over

Hampshire opener Michael Carberry
Hampshire opener Michael Carberry
Shahid Afridi. Picture: Neil Marshall

Afridi sends Hampshire into T20 Blast last four

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Hampshire suffered Friends Life t20 finals day heartbreak as they were beaten by Surrey in the second semi-final.

The Royals posted a modest target of 142 for nine after a disappointing batting display at Edgbaston.

And despite reducing Surrey to 71 for four of 10 overs, Zander de Bruyn (41 not out) and Zafar Ansari (17 not out) steered The Oval outfit home with four balls to spare.

The Royals had fought back after a stuttering performance with the willow.

Skipper Dimi Mascarenhas had Jason Roy (five) caught before clinging on to a mistimed pull from Steven Davies (nine) off the bowling of Chris Wood.

Danny Briggs then trapped Vikram Solanki (19) leg before wicket and former Royals all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (26) fell to Liam Dawson.

But in the end their stuttering display with the willow cost them in a brave defence of the title they won in Cardiff 12 months ago.

It was only the efforts of Zimbabwean left-hander Ervine, with his 47 off 32 balls, that ensured Hampshire posted a competitive score.

The Royals lost the toss and were asked to bat by Surrey at Edgbaston.

They named an unchanged side from the quarter-final clash and were led into their fourth consecutive finals day by Dimi Mascarenhas.

But they started poorly as a maiden in the first over ramped up the pressure.

Michael Carberry (six), James Vince (13) and Neil McKenzie (five) all fell cheaply as Surrey took command at 38 for three.

Ervine and Jimmy Adams (19) began to fight back but when the latter departed, Liam Dawson (eight) and Adam Wheater (two) soon followed.

Mascarenhas joined Ervine only to see the latter caught in the deep in the 17th over.

Wood was then run out after hooking a six and Mascarenhas skied a simple catch to long on the next ball as the innings capitulated.

Earlier, Northamptonshire sealed their spot in the final with a seven-wicket triumph over Essex.

Set 169 to win by the Eagles, Richard Levi put the Steelbacks on course for success in the first semi-final with a brilliant 57 off 37 balls.

The South African’s work was then backed up by Stephen Crook and Cameron White, who shared an unbroken stand of 78 to complete the job.

Crook hit 46 off 24 balls, while Aussie White hammered 36 off 25 to see their side home with 11 balls to spare.

A late charge had seen the Eagles take the upper hand at the halfway point of the first semi-final at Edgbaston.

Skipper James Foster and Graham Napier shared a blistering partnership at the death.

The pair added 54 runs in just 4.2 overs as Napier crashed three fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 38 off 15 balls.

Foster finished on 32 not out off 24 deliveries to put his side in the driving seat before the Steelbacks produced fireworks with the willow.