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Lightning flash into showpiece

By Rob Barnett & Callum Dent

Ashwell Prince blasted an unbeaten 72 as Lancashire Lightning defeated Hampshire by 41 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method to set up a NatWest T20 Blast final with Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.

The veteran South African struck a trio of fours and the same amount of maximums in a 53-ball innings that elevated Lancashire to 160 for five from 19 overs after an early wobble.

The Lightning attack then continued their momentum by dismissing Hampshire, starring at Finals Day for the fifth successive time, for 101 with Jimmy Adams, who made 53, one of only two players to reach double figures.

Lancashire, runners-up in 2005, will now face Birmingham in the showpiece later this evening following the Bears’ victory over Surrey earlier today. 

It was not all plain sailing for Lancashire, who slipped to three for two after losing the toss.

Tom Smith was trapped lbw by namesake Will with the first ball of the innings before an advancing Usman Khawaja edged Chris Wood to slip.

Veteran South African Ashwell Prince hits out en route to a stunning unbeaten 72 off 53 balls as Lancashire Lightning defeated Hampshire

A 45-minute rain delay allowed Lancashire to regroup and they came out firing upon the resumption courtesy of a 69-run stand in nine overs between Karl Brown and Prince.

But Will Smith made a double breakthrough in his final set of six, the 11th, to complete impressive figures of 3-15 and halt Lancashire’s progress.

Brown took a liking to Matt Coles, despatching the former Kent seamer for a brace of maximums, only to drag a wide Smith delivery onto his stumps and dangerman Jos Buttler followed lbw.

Prince, spilled by Liam Dawson on 33, smashed a second six over long-off to raise a 36-ball half-century.

The left-hander and Horton took the attack to Hampshire in a partnership of 47 in just five overs until a mix-up saw the latter, dropped twice during his 14-ball 19, run out.

Prince, with his third maximum, and Steven Croft injected some late impetus by taking 15 and 17 runs from the final two overs, delivered by Wood and Coles, who leaked 50 from his allocation.

Rain ended Lancashire’s innings six balls early, meaning Hampshire were set a revised victory target of 143 from 16 on the D/L method.  

England paceman James Anderson celebrates one of two wickets as the Lightning dismissed their opponents for just 101 at Edgbaston

The Lightning replicated Hampshire’s start with the ball by making two major breakthroughs inside three overs.

James Anderson needed four balls to make an impact as James Vince found the hands of Brown at cover before Michael Carberry failed to beat mid-on off Croft.

That double blow took the wind out of Hampshire’s sails, losing wickets at regular intervals as Lancashire took control.

Stephen Parry bowled Owais Shah and took a return catch to send Coles on his way, either side of Croft and Tom Smith getting in on the act.

When Adam Wheater and Dawson departed, Hampshire were on the brink at 90 for eight.

Adams reached a 36-ball half-century, but it proved in vain as he holed out to provide Anderson a second scalp before Jordan Clark wrapped up the innings with his first delivery, having Wood caught at mid-off.  

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Post-Match Reaction

Hampshire skipper James Vince said: “It’s very disappointing. I think we all look forward to finals day. It’s a great day to play in. We’ve beaten ourselves a bit there so it’s disappointing we didn’t make them too hard for that win.”

This was Hampshire’s third finals day at Edgbaston but they are yet to win the trophy in Birmingham.

Vince added: “We’ve even changed hotels this year for a change of luck but even that hasn’t worked.”

Hampshire Innings

Highlights where Lancashire bowled Hampshire out for 101 to book a place in the final of NatWest T20 Blast

6pm – WICKET & END OF INNINGS! LANCASHIRE WIN BY 41 RUNS ON DUCKWORTH/LEWIS! Wood c Horton b Clark 5; Ham 101 all out – Jordan Clark claims the last wicket, confirming Lancashire’s place in this evening’s final against Birmingham Bears. Hampshire used 14.1 of their 16 overs. 

5.57pm – WICKET! Adams c Smith b Anderson 53; Ham 100/9 – Adams holes out to Smith on the midwicket boundary as a brave knock comes to an end.

5.54pm – FIFTY! Adams (37b 7x4 1x6) – The left-hander cutely opens the face against Smith, guiding him to the rope and raising a valiant half-century. It looks like it’ll be in vain though.

5.51pm – WICKET! Dawson c Buttler b Smith 7; Ham 90/8 – Liam Dawson edges Smith behind to give gloveman Buttler a regulation chance. It’s almost all over for Hampshire, although Adams is still there.

5.46pm – WICKET! Wheater c Horton b Kabir 4; Ham 77/6 –Adams is still holding up an end and cover-drives Smith for four. Hampshire need a few more of those, but another bites the dust when Adam Wheater is caught at midwicket.

5.39pm – WICKET! Coles c&b Parry 0; Ham 160/5 – Worse still for the batting side as Matt Coles offers Parry a return catch.

5.35pm – WICKET! Ervine c Khawaja b Smith 5; Ham 58/5 – It gets worse for Hampshire as Sean Ervine cuts aerially to point, giving Tom Smith a scalp in his first over during which Adams also struck six over long-on.

5.26pm – WICKET! Smith st Buttler b Croft 1; Ham 38/4 – It’s a leg-side wide from Croft but also a scalp. Jos Buttler was a tad lucky, spilling the ball onto the stumps as he went for the stumping. The TV umpires confirms it’s a legitimate dismissal.

5.21pm – WICKET! Shah b Parry 7; Ham 34/3 – Shah tries to cut a full ball from spinner Stephen Parry and loses his leg stump. Hampshire are in a spot of bother with a required rate of more than 10 an over.

5.16pm – Anderson concedes three fours in his second over, two to Jimmy Adams and one to Owais Shah. Kabir Ali is then introduced and immediately has a loud shout for caught behind against Adams but it’s not out, much to Lancashire’s dismay. Adams responds by launching Kabir for a straight six, taking Hampshire to 32 for two from the five-over powerplay.

5.04pm – WICKET! Carberry c Smith b Croft 10; Ham 11/2 – Carberry chips Croft to mid-on and, after the third umpire checks for over-stepping, the opening batsman is on his way. Hampshire, like Lancashire, have lost two early wickets. Can the south-coast side recover?

5.04pm – WICKET! Vince c Brown b Anderson 1; Ham 11/1 – The crowds have been singing James Anderson’s name and he strikes in his first over. Carberry nudges Anderson’s first ball to leg for four but Vince soon picks out cover-point where Karl Brown takes a regulation catch.

4.58pm – The sun is shining brightly and we’re about to resume with James Vince and Michael Carberry opening the batting. Carberry cuts Steven Croft for four in an otherwise tight opening over.

Lancashire Innings

Highlights of the Lancashire Lightning innings where Ashwell Prince struck a fine 72 from 53 balls

4.46pm – The Duckworth/Lewis recalculation means Hampshire will need 143 from 16 overs. We’re set to restart at 5pm.

4.40pm – The sun breaks through again and the covers are coming off. We should start again soon.

4.31pm – RAIN & END OF INNINGS! Lan 160/5; Prince 72, Croft 22 – The rain gets heavier and the covers come on. Lancashire have batted for 19 overs and that’s the end of their innings.

4.24pm – Prince launches Wood for a straight six in a profitable over worth 15. Lancashire are 143 for five with 12 balls to go. Horton then launches a Coles full-toss over the midwicket boundary as light rain starts to fall.

4.14pm – CHANCE & WICKET! Horton run out 19; Lan 121/5 – Horton gets in on the act with a four and then immediately a six off Coles, both to leg. It gets worse for Coles, who spills a regulation chance in the deep. Horton’s life doesn’t last long though. He is run out attempting a suicidal single to midwicket.

4.06pm – FIFTY! Prince (37b 2x4 2x6) – The opener lifts Dawson for six to raise an accelerating half-century and move Hampshire to three figures.

4.02pm – CHANCES! Dawson can’t hold a tough, low, return opportunity from Prince on 33. In the next over Coles spills another hard chance at extra-cover, this time Paul Horton surviving with Briggs bowling. How much will Hampshire regret those?

3.55pm – WICKET! Buttler lbw Smith 1; Lan 74/4 – A big breakthrough for Hampshire as Jos Buttler goes second ball, attempting a reverse-sweep and being trapped in front. Smith ends with 3-15 from his four overs, having not conceded a boundary.

3.53pm – WICKET! Brown b Smith 41; Lan 72/3 – Lancashire accelerate further as both batsmen add a boundary off Liam Dawson, Prince’s a six over long-on. However, Brown drags the next ball, from Smith, on to his stumps.

3.49pm – Brown deposits a Coles full-toss over the square-leg rope, raising a valuable fifty partnership from 36 balls.

3.45pm – After a tight over from Smith, Prince breaks a sequence of 13 personal singles by taking Briggs for four through midwicket.

3.39pm – Spinner Danny Briggs is introduced and Brown clubs him through the covers for four as the powerplay yields 35 for two.

3.33pm – Brown scores the first boundary of the innings, smiting Wood down the ground for four. In the next over Brown emphatically pulls Matt Coles for six.

3.28pm – We’re back under way! Two more runs come from the rest of Smith’s over.

3.20pm – The sun is shining brightly and all the covers are off. It looks like we’ll be restarting in 10 minutes. While waiting, why not read our report and blog of the first semi?

3.05pm – Better news yet! The covers are starting to be removed and we’re looking at a 3.30pm restart with no overs lost.

3pm – The rain appears to be getting lighter and there is blue sky not far away. The groundstaff are starting brush water off the covers. 

2.49pm – Unfortunately this looks to be a lengthy delay with steady rain falling and full covers on.

2.43pm – RAIN! Lan 6/2; Prince 3, Brown 2 – It’s all happening as a shower forces the players off two balls into the third over. The not-out batsmen are opener Ashwell Prince and Karl Brown.

2.39pm – WICKET! Khawaja c Ervine b Wood 1; Lan 3/2 – It gets better for Hampshire as Chris Wood has Usman Khawaja held at slip in the second over.

2.35pm – WICKET! Smith lbw Smith; Lan 0/1 – We’ve got a wicket first ball! Will Smith traps the dangerous Tom Smith in front to give Hampshire a dream start.

Pre-Play News

2.23pm – Caught your breath yet after the first semi-final? It’s time to strap yourself in again for Hampshire versus Lancashire Lightning. The news from the middle is Hampshire have won the toss and will bowl first. We're set to start in 10 minutes. 


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