Holland bags one-day career-best haul as Hampshire keep Royal London Cup hopes alive with victory over Kent at Beckenham

Hampshire’s hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the Royal London Cup are still alive after they coasted to a six-wicket win over Kent Spitfires at Beckenham.
Ian Holland took a career best one-day haul of 4-12 in Hampshire's Royal London Cup win against Kent.Ian Holland took a career best one-day haul of 4-12 in Hampshire's Royal London Cup win against Kent.
Ian Holland took a career best one-day haul of 4-12 in Hampshire's Royal London Cup win against Kent.

Ian Holland ripped out Kent’s top order with a one-day best 4-12 as the hosts failed to bat out their overs, despite a rain-reduction to 24 per side. Scott Currie took 2-4 as the Spitfires were all out for 105, writes FRED ATKINS.

The Duckworth Lewis Method pushed the target up to just 107 and Hampshire chased it down with relative ease, finishing on 1074, Tom Alsop top scoring with 37 and Holland completing a fine day’s work by hitting an unbeaten 30.

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Kent have now been eliminated, regardless of the outcome of Thursday’s final scheduled match with Gloucestershire at Beckenham, a fixture in doubt due to the Covid outbreak that saw today’s match between Gloucestershire and Middlesex cancelled.

The prospects of play looked remote as steady rain fell throughout the morning, but conditions improved and play started at 2.30pm, with the match initially reduced to 27 overs per side.

Kent’s openers actually made a bright start after being asked to bat, but after moving to 42 without loss, Tawanda Muyeye (24) was bowled by John Turner.

Holland then instigated a collapse when he claimed two wickets in the 12th over. Ollie Robinson was caught by James Fuller at deep square leg for 27 and Jack Leaning was subsequently caught and bowled for 11.

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In Holland’s next over, Harry Finch (0) chipped him to Nick Gubbins.

Kent had reached 70-4 before a shower sent the players sprinting to the pavilion, trimming the match by a further three overs per side, and if anything their batting got worse when play resumed.

Darren Stevens made just eight when Holland had him caught by Felix Organ and Grant Stewart (4) was run out by a direct hit from Tom Scriven chasing a single that could best be described as optimistic.

Joe Gordon made nine on his List A debut before he holed out to Scriven and was caught by Organ and Currie then bowled Harry Podmore (8) before getting Hamid Qadri (5) lbw.

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Kyle Abbott wrapped up the innings when Matt Quinn was caught by Tom Prest and Hampshire made short work of the chase.

The Spitfires’ hopes flickered when Quinn took two quick wickets, strangling Prest (2) down the leg side where he was caught behind and then bowling Gubbins (2) to reduce the visitors to 23-2.

But Alsop and Holland put on 40 for the next wicket before the former chopped Podmore to Finch, who took a sharp catch at point.

By the time Joe Weatherley was caught by Muyeye off Podmore for 25, Hampshire needed just another 15 for victory with six wickets in hand.

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James Fuller smacked Podmore for six to clinch the win with 34 balls to spare.

Holland said: ‘It's been the story of most of our campaigns this year, leaving it late. Hopefully we can go up to Durham and put in a performance.

‘I haven't looked at the exact table, we'll probably need a few things to go our way, but we're still well and truly alive, which is great.

‘We were happy with that total, we were able to take a consistent amount of wickets throughout the innings and we felt that was a very gettable score on a pretty small outfield.

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‘The wicket was a little bit slow at times but on this outfield we felt pretty confident chasing it.

‘It was always going to be one good partnership in theory, or a couple of half-partnerships, and that ended up being the case.

(On his career-best List A figures) ‘It's nice, it was one of those days when they just went to hand. When they mishit them it went to the fielders.

‘I'm just happy to contribute and most importantly we put in a really good performance with the ball.’

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Hampshire’s final group game is against leaders Durham at Chester-le-Street on Thursday.

The group winners qualify automatically the semi-finals, with the second and third-placed teams in each group progressing to the quarter-finals.