Hampshire fail to extend impressive Lord’s record as Somerset romp to victory in Royal London Cup final
HAMPSHIRE failed to extend their remarkable Lord’s final record today.
Missing England stars James Vince and Liam Dawson, they failed to retain the Royal London One-Day Cup when they were suffered a comprehensive six-wicket loss to Somerset.
Hampshire – who had won seven of their previous eight Lord’s finals stretching back to 1988 - ultimately paid the price for failing to post a competitive total after skipper Sam Northeast won the toss and chose to bat.
Josh Davey struck twice to hand Somerset the early breakthrough, as Hampshire reached 43 for two after 10 overs.
Davey drew Aneurin Donald into a punch to short cover to depart for 11, with Roelof Van Der Merwe holding well to leave Hampshire 16 for one.
Tom Alsop thought he had sneaked a reprieve when edging Davey to James Hildreth, only for the slip to fumble what should have proved a straightforward catch.
But Alsop edged the next ball from Davey behind again in a carbon copy error - and this time Hildreth held fast. Alsop departed for 16, bringing Northeast to the crease.
Hampshire reached 99-4 on 20 overs but lost key man Rilee Rossouw en route.
Rossouw hit the match-winning 125 last year but could not repeat those heroics despite a fast start this time out.
After Joe Weatherley was clean bowled by Lewis Gregory for 12, leaving Hampshire 50-3 from 12.5 overs, Rossouw struck three fours in four balls in a crisp start to kick Hampshire into gear.
He started to build a neat partnership with Northeast but, just when the big-hitting South African appeared ready to cut loose, he played onto his own stumps instead.
Eventual man of the match Jamie Overton (3-48) bagged the vital wicket, with Rossouw departing for 28.
Northeast reached 50 from 85 balls as Hampshire inched to 156 for five from 35.3 overs, but the defending champions just could not score at any kind of rate.
Gareth Berg mustered 27 before departing as Jamie Overton's second victim, with George Bartlett holding the catch in the deep, before Northeast was clean bowled by his opposite number Tom Abell for 56.
James Fuller's unbeaten 54 added vital respectability to Hampshire's eventual 244 for eight.
Fuller smashed two sixes in the final over for his maiden One Day Cup half-century, while his ninth wicket stand of 64 with Mason Crane (a career best 28 not out in List A games) was easily the highest of Hampshire’s innings.
Hampshire captain Northeast could hardly add to his half-century before Somerset counterpart Abell sent him packing, clean bowled for 56.
Somerset whistled along at the top of their reply with that 245 victory target immediately in mind.
Tom Banton hit 36 and Azhar Ali 27 as the Taunton men reached 64 without loss from 10 overs.
Banton reached 53 from 50 balls as Somerset moved onto 91 without loss from 14.5 overs.
The in-form 20-year-old's quick knock became his second half-century in a fruitful tournament also comprising two centuries.
Banton's tone-setting innings ended on 69, as he edged Fidel Edwards behind to Tom Alsop.
That put Somerset at 112 for one after 19.2 overs, comfortably ahead of the required run rate and with Ali on 42 from 49 balls.
Somerset reached 139 for two at the innings' halfway point of 25 overs in front of a crowd of 15,746.
A fired-up Edwards dismissed Ali for 45 with Rossouw taking the catch as Somerset reached 139-2 at the halfway point of their reply.
Peter Trego and James Hildreth steadied the ship again, to nudge Somerset closer to the crown.
Trego fell for 29 and skipper Abell for 14 but the experienced Hildreth ended unbeaten on 69 to see Somerset lift only their third trophy since 1983 with 6.1 overs in hand.
It ended an extraordinary sequence of runners-up places – 10 in as many years for the west country county including four Championship second places and three T20 runners-up spots.