Kyle Abbott’s career best List A figures help Hampshire to Royal London Cup group win over Worcestershire at The Ageas Bowl
A Kyle Abbott-inspired Hampshire cruised to a six-wicket Royal London Cup victory over high-flying Worcestershire in a one-sided contest at the Ageas Bowl.
South African quick Abbot took 5-43 - his maiden List A five-wicket haul - as the hosts dismissed the Rapids for 176 in 39 overs, writes IAIN McCULLOUGH.
The hosts cruised to a six-victory with 61 balls to spare thanks to 59 from Nick Gubbins to chalk up their second win of the season against the third-placed visitors.
Worcestershire struggled with the bat following the dismissal of opener Brett D'Oliveira, who played well for his 40 before being bowled by Ian Holland, with skipper Joe Leach adding some respectability to the total with an unbeaten 34 after Abbott had taken two wickets in an over to reduce the visitors to 136-8.
The Rapids' total always looked well below par on a decent batting surface as they struggled to build any partnership of note with wickets falling at regular intervals.
In-form opener Jack Haynes was out for just 15 with Tom Fell, Jake Libby and Gareth Roderick all departing cheaply before Ed Barnard fell to Abbott having looked in good touch for his 29.
Young South African seamer John Turner continued his good form for Hampshire by mopping up the Worcestershire tail to finish with figures of 3-44.
Tom Prest and Tom Alsop were given few early alarms with the pair putting on 43 for the first wicket before Adam Finch struck in the 12th over of the innings.
Finch tempted Prest with a short-pitched delivery and the teenage opener took the bait only to mistime his hook shot and find the hands of D'Oliveira at mid-wicket to be dismissed for 12.
But any hopes of a Hampshire collapse were allayed by the arrival at the crease of Gubbins who added 68 with Alsop before D'Oliveira had the opener caught by Leach at mid-off for 50 to reduce the Hawks to 111-2.
Gubbins continued his good form since arriving on loan from Middlesex with his third half-century in four innings from just 51 balls, but with his side 22 runs away from victory he handed D'Oliveira his second wicket when he edged behind to Roderick.
Joe Weatherley departed for 33 when he was stumped by Roderick off Josh Baker with Lewis McManus smashing a six from the very next ball to seal an emphatic win.
Abbott, who had never taken a five-for in 108 previous List A matches, said: ‘We came out nicely with the ball, maybe a bit full and a bit loose at the beginning, but we managed to drag it back nicely.
‘It was important to keep taking wickets and we did that and it was good to get back to winning ways.
‘In the second half of their innings we built up a bit of pressure, and felt we could try to vary the game and things then escalated quite quickly.
‘I am more of a 2-40, 2-50 kind of bowler, this form of cricket has never been my strongest suit as a bowler but I enjoyed getting a five-for."
Worcestershire coach Alan Richardson added: ‘It's disappointing, it's the first game we haven't really competed in, but we know in an eight-game block of games there are going to be the odd one that doesn't go your way and you don't give yourself a good chance to win a game and that is what happened today.
‘It's taken a very good spell of bowling from an international class bowler in Kyle Abbott to leave us well short with the bat.
‘They were then able to bat at their own tempo and play risk-free cricket throughout.’