By Connor Steel
HAMPSHIRE CRICKET secured another victory in the Royal London One Day Cup on Tuesday afternoon as they beat the Yorkshire Vikings by seventy two runs in Scarborough; thus confirming a home semi-final at the Ageas Bowl next week after qualifying top of Group B and bypassing the last eight in the process. In hot dry conditions it was Aneurin Donald who starred with a rapid career best score of seventy-six as the visitors set a huge target of over three hundred runs, before taking regular Yorkshire wickets to seal this simple success.
Nick Gubbins and Ben Brown started well for Hampshire after being put into bat, showing a great mixture of attacking and defending the new ball as they opened with a solid 87-run partnership featuring 8 boundaries. This stand was ended in the 19th over by Dom Bess who trapped Gubbins leg-before for 38 runs, whilst Tom Prest joined with Brown (60) to push their score to 150-1 after thirty three overs. And this partnership of sixty-three came in fourteen steady overs as the run rate slowed, Brown soon dismissed as he was caught by slip.
Yorkshire were soon regretting taking this 2nd wicket as Donald came out with an intent, taking control of the innings with a flurry of boundaries including six maximums either side of Prest reaching his own half century. He reached his fifty off just 23 deliveries and continued his assault lasting thirty-nine minutes overall, adding another 26 in just eight balls before he was caught slogging off Matthew Waite’s delivery in the 42nd over of bowling. Donald’s dismissal came just two balls after Bess had ended Prest’s spell at the crease for 55 runs.
Fletcha Middleton (18) and Toby Albert (21) added a quick 35-run partnership before the former was caught off Matthew Revis’ delivery; the new batsman Felix Organ (3) joining him to be dismissed by a direct throw to leave scores on 284-6. This soon became 298-9 as Revis further removed Albert and John Turner (1) either side of Currie (6) being dismissed by Tom Loten caught at cover-point; Ian Holland (15*) and Jack Campbell surviving the last ten balls to help Hampshire record an overall total of 313-9 off their allocated batting overs.
In response Yorkshire started badly as they limped to 31-4 within eight overs as Turner took the big wickets of Will Fraine (5) and Finley Bean (10) in quick succession; whilst Holland added the quick dismissals of both Harry Duke (8) and George Hill for a duck. This brought captain Jonathon Tattersall and Waite to the crease, the pair milking the field alongside superb boundary hitting including two sixes as they added 55 runs in just six overs in a counter attack against the new ball bowlers in their first hour of chasing their huge 314 targets.
Campbell took the fifth wicket as he dragged a mishit shot by Tattersall that was caught by Prest, whilst Scott Currie removed Waite edging behind for thirty-seven runs off 28 balls to leave the hosts on 106-6. Revis and Bess (27) then shared sixty-four for the seventh wicket as Yorkshire battled back again, although the spinner did have to retire hurt in the 32nd over as he was struck in the head whilst chasing a quick single off the bat. And Revis was then caught at cover by Middleton for 41 including five boundaries, leaving Yorkshire 171-7.
Although Loten hit forty-three including two huge sixes, most of the damage was already done and Yorkshire continued to lose regular wickets despite an eighth wicket partnership of 57; which was ended by Turner as he had Ben Coad caught for twenty four. And the bowler sealed his personal five-for alongside away victory; bowling the concussion batsman Harry Sullivan (1) and drawing the slightest edge from Jack Shutt that was gathered by Brown behind the stumps with just a matter of overs left for the hosts on a tired-looking crease.
Hampshire’s players will now face seven days of rest before their last four encounter against either Kent or Leicestershire, who are scheduled to meet on Friday in the quarter finals. But whoever they face it will be a home clash at the Ageas Bowl on August 30 starting at 2pm, unless it is moved slightly earlier to allow for TV coverage set to be announced later this week. Semi-final winners will meet in the final to be played 18 days later on September 17 at Trent Bridge, sandwiched between two County Championship first class matches.
PICTURED BY HAMPSHIRE CRICKET (GETTY IMAGES): Batsmen impress for away side as they end the Royal London One Day Cup group stages with victory, sealing big home semi-final to be held next Tuesday.