‘It was not a good day for us’ – Hampshire well beaten by Lancashire in Royal London Cup on DLS method

Luke Wells scored an impressive List A best 66 not out as unbeaten Lancashire completed a comfortable 51-run Royal London Cup victory, via Duckworth Lewis Stern regulations, against Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl.

Sunday, 1st August 2021, 6:06 pm
Nick Gubbins was Hampshire's second top scorer with 31 in their Royal London Cup loss to Lancashire at The Ageas Bowl. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

Heavy rain arrived at 4.35pm, preventing any further play after Lancashire had reached 115- 2 from 25.3 overs in reply to Hampshire’s 162 all out, with Wells hitting 12 fours in a superb 62-ball knock to put his side well ahead on DLS, writes MARK BALDWIN.

But the win was really set up by Lancashire’s brilliant effort in the field earlier in the day, with Tom Bailey (3-23) and George Balderson (3-25) the stand-out performers.

Bailey, Lancashire’s captain, led by example with a six-over new ball spell of 2-18 and later the wicket of Hampshire’s top-scorer Lewis McManus, who batted with skill and spirit with six fours in a 51-ball 45.

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McManus was ninth out, fighting a lone battle after Bailey and Balderson had undermined the innings after Lancashire won the toss and, with poor weather forecast, opted to bowl.

Bailey’s fast-medium accounted for Tom Alsop, well-held at point for seven in the third over, and 18-year-old Tom Prest, caught at second slip for nine pushing indeterminately forward.

Nick Gubbins looked in good order, quickly reaching 31 with six stroked fours, but then became the first of Balderson’s scalps when he carved to point.

Medium-pacer Balderson, settling into a probing line around off stump and finding a little seam movement, then had both Ian Holland and Joe Weatherley leg-before, for 1 and 17 respectively.

From 81-5, Hampshire were briefly rallied by McManus – who lofted Keaton Jennings over mid off for four and then cut him hard to the ropes – and James Fuller, who added 40.

But Fuller, on 17, became another batsman to depart playing across the line, lobbing a straightforward return catch to the pacy Liam Hurt off a leading edge as he tried to work to mid wicket.

Danny Lamb had Felix Organ (7) lbw, with a full ball angled into his pads, and Scott Currie (2) was smartly stumped by George Lavelle when slow left arm spinner Jack Morley beat the outside edge as Currie advanced down the pitch.

Morley conceded just 10 runs from seven controlled overs, his excellent action catching the eye, but it was Lancashire’s seam attack that continued to do most of the damage – Bailey returning to snare McManus, caught at extra cover from another leading edge, and Lamb having Kyle Abbott (9) caught behind to finish with 2-33.

Lancashire’s chase began edgily, in front of a good-sized crowd, with Josh Bohannon (5) skying a pull at John Turner to mid wicket, and Fuller reduced them to 44- 2 when Jennings edged a fine ball behind in the fast bowler’s first over.

But former Sussex left-hander Wells soon eased any Lancashire fears. Having driven Holland’s medium pace for three fours in four balls in the 12th over, he then took two more boundaries from Fuller’s second over before hitting the same bowler exquisitely through extra cover and steering him to the third man ropes.

Rob Jones also batted with quiet assurance, moving to an unbeaten 24 from 41 balls while supporting Wells in an unbroken third wicket partnership of 71 in 13 overs that confirmed Lancashire’s superiority.

Hampshire’s first team manager Adrian Birrell said: ‘It was not a good day for us and 162 was nowhere near enough.

‘We didn’t adapt to the conditions well enough and, although it was a tricky pitch when we batted, we played too much across the line at the straight ball and so we are also disappointed with our technical performance with the bat.

‘Losing the toss was also a factor, as we would have bowled first too, but all our game plans unravelled because we kept on losing wickets and never got any partnerships going.

‘That was particularly disappointing, as was being bowled out well inside the 50 overs.

‘We knew rain was coming later so we then had to take wickets to have any chance on DLS, but Luke Wells played very well and chasing a low total meant they never needed to take risks.’

Hampshire, who have now lost two of their opening four games with one win and an abandonment, next welcome Worcestershire on Wednesday (11am).