Hampshire’s Royal London Cup quest ended at the quarter-final stage today as they fell to a rain-reduced four-wicket defeat to Gloucestershire.
That’s after Michael Klinger led from the front as the hosts reached their first one-day semi-final for 11 years with a thrilling win at Bristol.
The skipper made 87 off 81 balls, with 10 fours and two sixes, to guide his side to a victory target of 218 with six balls to spare – Geraint Jones (39 not out) and Jack Taylor (34) virtually finishing the job with a stand of 44 in only 22 balls.
After rain had reduced the quarter-final to 34 overs per side, Jimmy Adams, with 97 off 99 balls and Will Smith, who smacked 50 off only 25 deliveries, ensured Hampshire’s total of 217 for seven was competitive.
Adams rescued Hampshire from a dreadful start that saw Michael Carberry and Adam Wheater fall in the first two overs of the innings when play finally got underway at 1.45pm, with Gloucestershire having won the toss.
He shared stands of 68 with James Vince (31) and 50 with Liam Dawson (21) before Smith came in to produce a classic one-day cameo, full of improvised strokes, that saw 77 runs scored off the last six overs.
Adams was denied a deserved century when failing to beat Fuller’s throw to the wicketkeeper from long-on as he chased a second run having driven Benny Howell.
Smith was dropped twice by Hamish Marshall in the latter stages of his enterprising knock and reached a brilliant half-century off 24 deliveries before Marshall atoned by catching him at long-on off the final ball of the innings.
Off-spinner Jack Taylor was the most economical Gloucestershire bowler with one for 30 from seven overs.
But Payne and Howell proved expensive and it was a surprise that slow left-armer Tom Smith was left unused.
Adams then had a chance to add to his heroics with the bat when Gloucestershire replied, but could not cling onto a sharp chance diving to his left at point offered by Klinger on nought, off Fidel Edwards.
Chris Dent fell cheaply and Klinger lacked meaningful support as Gareth Roderick, Hamish Marshall and Benny Howell could contribute only 30 runs between them.
When Howell fell in the 21st over the scoreboard read 104 for four and Hampshire were on top.
While Klinger was there, batting in a class of his own, Gloucestershire retained hope and Jones helped add 59 in 8.1 overs as the skies darkened before Yasir Arafat struck what appeared the key blow in the 29th over.
Aiming a big shot, Klinger skied a catch to cover where Adams held on, much to the delight of his team-mates.
There were still 55 needed off less than six overs.
An expensive over from Edwards followed which saw him concede five wides off the first delivery and three boundaries. With four overs left Gloucestershire required 32, with Jones having been joined by Taylor.
The latter launched Arafat over long-on for two successive sixes and a four as Hampshire’s bowling fell apart.
When Taylor was out 11 were needed at a run a ball and Jones finished the match with a six over long-on off Arafat.