Hampshire heartbreak as hotel switch fails to deliver cutting Edg

Hampshire's James Vince hits a six during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. PPP-170309-212743001

Hampshire start T20 Blast campaign against Glamorgan

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James Vince revealed Hampshire moved hotels in a fruitless attempt to break their Edgbaston hoodoo.

Having suffered semi-final defeats at the Birmingham venue in 2011 and 2013, the skipper and his troops set up camp at a new base ahead of their record fifth consecutive t20 finals day on Saturday.

But it made little difference as the Ageas Bowl outfit once again crashed out at the first hurdle in the Midlands.

The 41-run reverse at the hands of Lancashire in a rain-affected clash was a massive disappointment.

Hampshire, who claimed the title on home turf in 2010 and then again in Cardiff two years later, were eyeing a third crown in five seasons.

Set 143 to win in 16 overs following a second rain interruption, only Jimmy Adams (53) got going before they were bowled out for 101.

And Vince was left crestfallen as Lancashire went on to contest a thrilling final, which hosts Birmingham Bears won by just four runs.

‘It was very disappointing,’ said the Hampshire skipper.

‘We all look forward to finals day – it is a great occasion – but we have beaten ourselves a bit there.

‘It was disappointing we didn’t make Lancashire work too hard for that win.

‘We even changed hotels this year!

‘We were hoping for a change of luck but that didn’t work.’

Hampshire’s form in limited-overs cricket has been poor of late.

A single victory from eight fixtures in the inaugural 50-over Royal London One-Day Cup saw them finish bottom of group A last week.

But Vince insisted those performances were not a factor in Saturday’s NatWest T20 Blast humbling.

‘Our last two t20 games were good,’ he added.

‘We won away at Essex, who are a very good side especially at home, and then to win away at Notts chasing 200 was a great effort as well.

‘So after winning the toss, with a little bit of rain around, we thought if it got reduced we would rather be chasing. It generally favours the side who are batting second.

‘We got off to a great start with the ball but when we came back out after the rain delay it went downhill pretty quickly.

‘We were missing Kyle Abbott, our overseas who is obviously a seamer, so we had to play an extra spinner.

‘In hindsight it would have been nice to have another guy at the end there.

‘Kyle has been brilliant for us at the death.

‘I don’t think we bowled as well as we could and they probably got too many.’

Will Smith was the unlikely star with the ball as he took three for 15, including the scalps of Tom Smith with the first ball of the game and England international Jos Buttler.

And after rain curtailed Lancashire’s innings at 160 for five from 19 overs, Hampshire were confident of chasing down their revised target with a powerful batting line-up.

However, the dismissals of Michael Carberry (10) and Vince with just 11 runs on the board left them facing an uphill struggle.

‘We always try to target the powerplay up front and get off to a good start,’ said Vince, who chipped England’s leading pace bowler Jimmy Anderson to cover.

‘You can afford to lose one or two wickets as long as you are still scoring at 10-an-over.

‘But we lost wickets and we weren’t scoring runs, so we shot ourselves in the foot.

‘We batted all the way down, though we had Liam Dawson coming in at nine!

‘So we did believe right the way through to the end.

‘But unfortunately no-one stuck around with Jimmy long enough and we weren’t able to build a partnership at any time.’

Hampshire will have to pick themselves up quickly now.

Promotion back to the top flight of the County Championship is firmly within their reach as they sit second in the division two table with three matches to play.

Vince said: ‘We have still got something to play for in the rest of the year with the Championship.

‘So we will have a week off, take a bit of time to regroup and then go hard for that.’

Hampshire return to action on Sunday when Leicestershire visit the Ageas Bowl.