Royals ‘rain’ supreme again in t20 triumph

The Royals celebrate as Jimmy Adams, right, catches Kevin Pietersen first ball
The Royals celebrate as Jimmy Adams, right, catches Kevin Pietersen first ball
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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Hampshire made it five wins on the spin as they defied yet more rain to record a fine win at Surrey in the Friends Life t20.

It was a game played out in drizzle, steady rain and then in the kind of downpour you would normally expect in monsoon season.

But the Royals got themselves ahead of our old foes Duckworth-Lewis when the umpires decided enough was enough.

Chasing 85 from a match already reduced to 10 overs per side, Hampshire set about their task with an air of confidence.

Jimmy Adams (28 not out) and James Vince (24 not out) made it look incredibly easy as they sealed victory by 19 runs in the sixth over, despite the persistent rain making conditions almost farcical at times.

The match got off to an extraordinary start with the much-anticipated prospect of seeing Kevin Pietersen up against his old county.

With his trademark strut, the flamboyant batsman – who recently turned his back on England’s limited overs side – sauntered out to the middle to open the Surrey innings in the shortened game.

And he was soon swaggering back to the pavilion.

Liam Dawson and Adams combined to remove him with the first ball of the match thanks to a stunning Adams diving catch at short extra cover.

It will have raised a mischievous grin among some spectators that Pietersen was yet again undone by his supposed Achilles heel – the slow left-armer.

While Steve Davies shrugged off the early loss with a quickfire 30 from just 11 balls, Danny Briggs sent him on his way as Chris Wood took a simple catch.

And Wood was on hand again soon afterwards as the excellent Dawson (two for 10) collected his second wicket.

Sean Ervine (no wicket for 12) and Wood (one for 14) then bowled exceptionally well to stem the flow of runs and restrict the Lions to 84 for four – despite Zafar Ansari (35 not out) peppering the boundary.

In reply, Dirk Nannes steamed in with a superb first over that went for just two runs.

But Adams and Vince then clicked into gear to get the game beyond the five-over mark that constitutes a result, before the conditions worsened and the victory was sealed.