Weatherley storms to maiden ton but Kent deny Hampshire glory
Joe Weatherley revealed mixed emotions after compiling his maiden Hampshire century in a heartbreaking Royal London One-Day Cup defeat to Kent at the Ageas Bowl.
The 21-year-old struck an unbeaten 105 and appeared to be steering the hosts to a fourth successive victory in the south group on Sunday.
However, a stunning final over from Kiwi seamer Matt Henry snatched a one-run win for the Spitfires.
‘That is about as high as I have got in my cricket career and then about as low,’ said Weatherley.
‘It was a real shame. I am gutted, we are all gutted.
‘We were looking to win it in the penultimate over – then Brad (Taylor) got out.
‘To be fair, they nailed their yorkers in those last nine balls.
‘I felt during the last over one hit would do it but Matt Henry has had a good start to the year and showed his class.
‘I have to take responsibility to finish it but fair play to Kent, they bowled well there.’
Weatherley shared a 133-run stand with Brad Taylor, who hit 56 from 63 deliveries.
Taylor was caught by Joe Denly off the bowling of Calum Haggett (one for 51) on the second ball of the penultimate over – with Hampshire needing just six runs for glory.
But despite having 10 balls to get the hosts over the line, Weatherley was foiled in a thrilling finish.
However the former England under-19s batsman, whose knock spanned 112 deliveries and included 12 fours, was pleased to have shared such an impressive stand with pal Taylor, 21.
And he is hoping the maiden ton will pave the way for many more across all formats for Hampshire’s first team.
Weatherley added: ‘It was a great partnership. Brad was free-flowing from the off. He played brilliantly.
‘And it was nice to put on a partnership with someone I know so well and have grown up with.
‘It is great to score my first century, too. It is a monkey off the back and probably long overdue.
‘I really enjoyed the moment and hopefully I can get a few more now.’
Hampshire won the toss and elected to field as they sought to continue an unbeaten start to their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign.
They restricted Kent to 296 for four on a good surface at the Ageas Bowl.
Off-spin all-rounder Taylor kept up his fine form with two for 35 as Daniel Bell-Drummond led the way for Kent, striking 82 from 111 deliveries.
He pinned team-mate Heino Kuhn (25 not out) on the elbow with a straight drive – forcing the South African to retire hurt – before he was run out.
Tom Alsop (36), Rilee Rossouw (24) and skipper James Vince (38) all got going in reply before Weatherley and Taylor took control.
Hampshire remain top – a point in front of Somerset and Middlesex. Click here to view the full scorecard.