Hampshire prove class with crushing win over Surrey

Tahir was the pick of the bowlers with 2-15'Hampshire celebrate one of his wickets'Hampshire vs Surrey'03/06/11'The Rose Bowl
Tahir was the pick of the bowlers with 2-15'Hampshire celebrate one of his wickets'Hampshire vs Surrey'03/06/11'The Rose Bowl
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Turn the calendar back a week or so and Hampshire were destroyed by 10 wickets against Lancashire in the Championship.

But after two Friends Life t20 wins they suddenly look a totally different side.

A comprehensive demolition of Surrey followed the midweek battering of Somerset.

The t20 players are certainly turning in performances worthy of their title as defending champions in this format.

Where confidence looked shredded in the four-day game and the CB40, the 20-over format has restored it and then some.

Once again after a terrific display with the ball in their opener against Somerset, the Royals were bang on the money with the ball from the very first ball – literally – to set up a seven-wicket success with eight balls to spare.

Steve Davies, who had struck an unbeaten 92 the day before in Surrey’s eight-wicket stroll over Gloucestershire, played on to Dominic Cork’s first ball of the match.

The dangerous Rory Hamilton-Brown (19) then followed him in the fifth over when Danny Briggs found a way through his defence.

The Lions fell three down thanks to a terrific run-out as Jimmy Adams delivered a flat throw from the boundary that left Jason Roy diving for his ground but coming up well short.

But while Zander de Bruyn (52) gave his side hope, wickets continued to fall around him in quick succession as Hampshire turned up the heat.

Imran Tahir (two for 15) was back in the groove after a rusty display against Somerset and struck with his very first delivery to account for Tom Maynard.

And that dismissal marked a crucial period of bowling from the Royals as they conceded just 15 runs from five overs to put the anchors on Surrey’s progress.

While Chris Schofield (30) struck some impressive late blows – most notably against Briggs in an expensive 18th over that went for 21 – Chris Wood (one for 19) epitomised the miserly display from the bowling unit.

Surrey’s final total of 140 for seven looked way short of a competitive total and so it proved as the resurgent Royals steamed to victory.

Adams and Michael Lumb put on a quickfire 42 for the first wicket before Adams fell but Lumb continued his good form with a pacy 36 from 24 balls.

That platform allowed Neil McKenzie (32) and James Vince (51 not out) to guide the side home with six balls to spare.

Two games, two wins and two excellent performances have suddenly blown the cobwebs away.