James Vince salutes ‘amazing character’ after Hampshire’s extraordinary T20 Blast quarter-final victory at defending champions Nottinghamshire
Hampshire captain James Vince saluted his side’s ‘amazing’ character after they stunned holders Nottinghamshire to reach an eighth T20 Blast Finals Day.
The Hawks booked a spot at Edgbaston on Saturday, September 18 with an extraordinary two-run victory at Trent Bridge last night, writes JON CULLEY.
The visitors had won quarter-finals at Trent Bridge in 2012 and 2014, but the chances of a repeat looked remote after they could post only a meagre 125-9 after being asked to bat first.
The Outlaws looked to be cruising towards a fifth finals day appearance in six years at 66-1 in the eighth over, but collapsed to 123 all out.
Left-arm spinner Liam Dawson took 3-24 while there were two wickets each for seamers Scott Currie and Brad Wheal, who had last man Dane Paterson caught behind with two balls of the 20 overs remaining.
‘Obviously at halfway we thought we were behind the game but the effort from the lads was incredible,’ said Vince.
‘ We said at halfway that whatever happened we would keep going right to the end and we did exactly that.
‘That has been the story for us throughout the competition really, from the position we were in in the group, to win the last five shows the character in the group is amazing.
‘It did not go our way with the bat tonight but with the ball we were excellent.
‘The wicket was not flat and helped our bowlers. We tried to make them hit in areas where we thought we could get wickets, but it is one thing to have a plan, another to execute it and our lads were outstanding.
‘With every wicket the belief grew and it makes you so proud of the boys.’
After being rock bottom of their qualifying group after nine matches, Hampshire finished fourth thanks to winning their last five - squeezing past Surrey on net run rate.
Notts, in contrast, had topped their group and entered last night’s game having won 19 of their previous 25 T20 matches - losing just three.
Outlaws skipper Steven Mullaney said: ‘We’re a bit stunned.
‘It is a score we should have definitely chased down.
‘We were outstanding with the ball and in the field, and credit to Hampshire, they stuck at it. But we are better than that and we should be going to Finals Day.
Matt Carter (23 not out) had revived Notts’ hopes, but Paterson failed to score off the first three balls of Wheal’s final over before being caught by Lewis McManus off the fifth.
‘Carts gave us a great chance with those sixes at the end and for Dane it was the right ball to attack and he nicked it,’ said Mullaney. ‘But it should not have been down to those two at the death. We should have taken more responsibility in the top six or seven and got over the line.
‘I’m proud of the way we have performed in the competition, especially after losing Dan Christian only six days before the start, but at the same time we pride ourselves on being able to adapt in different situations and we didn’t do that tonight.’
Hampshire join south coast neighbours Sussex at Finals Day with the other two quarter-finals being between Somerset and Lancashire and Kent and Birmingham Bears.