Impressive Berg ensures flying start for Hampshire

Gareth BergGareth Berg
Gareth Berg
JAMES VINCE praised Gareth Berg who fired Hampshire to victory against Sussex at Hove.

The visitors began their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign with a two-wicket success.

It was a dramatic finish as they wrapped it up with four balls left.

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Sussex had looked favourites when Hashim Amla was sixth out for 63 to leave Hampshire needing 118 from 15.5 overs to overhaul the 250 posted by the hosts.

But they got there finishing on 253 for eight with Berg firing 65 off 37 balls.

Vince said: ‘In the end it took a pretty special innings from Gareth to win it for us, that proved to be the difference.

‘I thought it was a great game and it’s always nice when you win the tight ones like that.

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‘Credit to Mason Crane and Reece Topley down the order too, they gave Bergy good support.

‘It was quite a tough pitch to bat on. It was slow and some balls kept low but Gareth’s done that sort of thing before and I felt we always had a chance while he was there.

‘It was good to see Reece out there again. He got through 10 overs and bowled really well and hopefully he can stay fit because he is a real asset for us.

‘It was good to start with a win and there’s no reason why we can’t do very well in this competition.’

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Lewis McManus and Berg thrashed 59 from 37 balls for the seventh wicket.

And although McManus was caught behind in the 41st over with 57 still needed Berg unleashed some powerful shots and farmed the strike effectively, although he should have been run out on 47 when he slipped backing up too far only for David Wiese to miss with his throw at the stumps.

There was another twist when Berg, who had earlier taken three for 51, was caught at deep mid-wicket in the 47th over off Ollie Robinson for 65, made from 37 deliveries with eight fours and two sixes, to leave his side needing 15 off 20 balls.

But Mason Crane and Reece Topley kept their nerve and three were needed off the final over.

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Topley scrambled a leg bye then Crane crashed the next to the cover rope to wrap up an impressive and hard-fought victory.

Amla had set things up with 63 from 83 balls.

Hampshire continue their campaign on Monday against Surrey at the Ageas Bowl (2pm).