Northeast refuses to make excuses as Hampshire suffer rare Lord’s cup final heartache
SKIPPER Sam Northeast refused to make excuses after Hampshire failed to retain the Royal London One-Day Cup.
The county were handicapped by the unavailability of James Vince and Liam Dawson, who were instead playing for England against Australia in a World Cup warm-up friendly at The Ageas Bowl.
Their absences were keenly felt as Somerset dominated throughout, eventually coasting to a six-wicket win with 6.1 overs to spare.
Northeast won the toss and batted first in a tournament which this summer has been characterised by high scores.
Hampshire have five times belted over 300 batting first, but this time were restricted to 244-8 - which the skipper still thought was ‘a competitive’ total.
They only posted that amount to an unbroken ninth wicket stand of 64 between James Fuller (55no) and Mason Crane (28no).
‘We were going to need a good start and we didn't get it," said Northeast.
‘We wanted 280-plus and if it wasn't for James Fuller we would have been well short of that.
‘It would have been nice to go on and get a big one and lead the team to a more competitive total, but we just didn't fire.
‘We were missing key players but I’m not going to use that as an excuse. We were just beaten by the better side on the day. We didn’t play well enough.
Northeast himself top scored with 56 but it took him 89 balls and there were only four boundaries in his innings.
The only time Hampshire looked like accelerating - prior to Fuller hitting two sixes in the last over - was when Rilee Roussow was at the crease.
The man who scored a century in Hampshire’s 2018 RL Cup success came in at No 5 with the county 50-3. He struck three of his first five balls to the boundary before he was bowled by man of the match Jamie Overton for a 17-ball 28.
In reply, Somerset openers Tom Banton (69) and Azhar Ali (45) put on 112 in just under 20 overs.
Fidel Edwards, having been struck for 31 off his first three overs, returned to dismiss both openers.
But that only brought the vastly-experienced James Hildreth (69no) and Peter Trego (29) to the crease.
Though Trego top-edged a pull off Fuller and Edwards dismissed captain Tom Abell, with Hildreth still there Somerset never looked in any danger.
Hampshire, therefore, suffered a rare Lord’s final loss - only their second in nine matches stretching back to 1988.
‘It’s a great effort to reach back-to-back finals,’ added Northeast. ‘I’m proud of the players, but it just wasn’t meant to be today.’