Donald’s second one-day century in a row books Hampshire a Metro Cup semi-final trip to Edgbaston

Aneurin Donald’s spectacular second hundred in as many games has set up a Metro Bank semi-final for Hampshire at Warwickshire on Tuesday.
Aneurin Donald blasted 115 from only 73 balls against Worcestershire. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty ImagesAneurin Donald blasted 115 from only 73 balls against Worcestershire. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Aneurin Donald blasted 115 from only 73 balls against Worcestershire. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Donald show-cased the full range of his stroke repertoire during his magnificent 115, sharing in a fourth-wicket stand of 162 with Ben Brown as Hampshire made 306-9 after losing the toss.

A brilliant second spell from Brad Wheal (2-0-6-4) then secured a thrilling victory by ten runs as Worcestershire closed on 296-9.

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After an opening partnership of 49 between captain Nick Gubbins and Fletcha Middleton, whose fluent 41 set the tone, Donald joined forces with Brown at 77-3 in the 16th over.

The 26 year-old dominated for the next 21 overs, scoring his 115 from only 73 balls, with a plethora of boundaries (13 fours and four sixes) accelerating Hampshire’s run rate to eight an over during his entertaining fourth-wicket alliance with Brown (66).

He reached his fifty from only 40 balls before easing through the gears, hitting Pennington for 18 from four deliveries, including a pulled six over mid-wicket, in reaching his second fifty from only 23.

Donald passed two more landmarks with maximums; a baseball-style slap over long on against Logan van Beek brought up Hampshire’s 200 and a pulled six over square leg took him to his century from 63 balls.

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At one stage, Hampshire looked set for a total in excess of 350 but the visitors dragged themselves back into the game, conceding only 34 runs from the last eight overs.

Young slow left-armer Josh Baker stemmed the tide with the key scalps of Donald, who stung the hands of van Beek with a powerful drive to cover, and Liam Dawson (19), who was the first of five wickets to fall in six overs.

But Hampshire had just enough on the board, despite a brave chase from Worcestershire, for whom captain Jake Libby made a run-a-ball 70.

A second-wicket partnership of 124 in 21 overs between Gareth Roderick and Rob Jones laid the foundation for a spirited response, before both were dismissed in successive Dawson overs.

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Roderick made a 57-ball 64 before missing an attempted slog sweep against a delighted Dawson, who extracted appreciable turn. Then Jones (67) drove the veteran slow left-armer low to Gubbins at cover.

After a fourth-wicket stand of 67 with Libby, Kashif Ali (34) skied an attempted slog sweep against Crane.

Worcestershire needed 93 from the last ten overs. Once Crane and Dawson were bowled out, the requirement was 50 from 30 balls.

With more pace now on the ball, and six wickets still in hand, the momentum was with Worcestershire.

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Successive Libby boundaries against Ian Holland brought the target down to 35 off 24.

But, after an expensive first spell, Wheal secured the win - and an Edgbaston semi-final - with four wickets in nine balls.