Young gun’s ton is not enough for Royals

Benny Howell celebrates his century
Benny Howell celebrates his century
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New Hampshire signing Sam Northeast  Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

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Benny Howell’s brilliant century was not enough for Hampshire to drag themselves out of their early-season slump as they went down to a Clydesdale Bank 40 defeat at the hands of Surrey Lions.

The 22-year-old struck his first senior hundred for the club with a tremendous 122.

And he looked capable of taking the Royals to within touching distance of an unlikely victory following their poor start to the season.

But while the youngster showed a glimpse of his huge potential, there simply wasn’t enough from his team-mates.

Neil McKenzie’s 30 was the next highest score from a Hampshire batsman in their reply to Surrey’s mighty 311 for seven.

Hampshire’s rotten luck continued with the ball, too, as former England star Simon Jones was removed from the attack after bowling two accidental beamers in the encounter at Whitgift School.

Jones’ indiscretion came as the Royals bowlers took some stick with Tom Maynard leading the way with 79 off 57 balls as Surrey piled on their total.

The Ashes 2005 hero had already let slip one beamer – a full toss above waist-height – at Zander de Bruyn with the first ball of his sixth over, when he did it again to Matt Spriegel with the third ball of his seventh.

The illegal deliveries were deemed accidental and Jones apologised immediately but, under the laws, umpire Graham Lloyd had no alternative but to remove the paceman from the attack and report him for a level one offence.

Jones had conceded 61 in 7.2 overs but Dimi Mascarenhas and Danny Briggs were even more expensive as Surrey registered the highest one-day score at the school ground.

But at least the Royals, who had earlier won the toss and asked Surrey to bat, made a fight of it this time after their meek surrender against Northamptonshire Steelbacks on Friday night at the Rose Bowl.

Howell, playing in only his sixth one-day game, led the charge but Hampshire lost momentum when Johann Myburgh was superbly caught by Jason Roy in the covers and James Vince top-edged Chris Schofield’s first ball to square leg.

McKenzie then cut Linley to point and, after that, only Howell threatened Surrey by hitting five sixes and nine fours before he was run out in a mix-up with Michael Bates and the visitors were bowled out for 275.