Royals secure first finals day berth
James Vince hit a nerveless unbeaten 66 as Hampshire Royals booked their first Friends Provident t20 finals day appearance with a five-wicket win over Warwickshire Bears at Edgbaston.
Hampshire had only ever reached the quarter-finals before and did not progress beyond the group stage when they last hosted finals day two years ago.
But they will be attending their own party at the Rose Bowl on August 14 thanks to Vince’s effort as he ensured they chased Warwickshire's 153 for five, sealing a jittery win with one ball to spare to condemn the Bears to their sixth quarter-final defeat in seven years.
The 19-year-old anchored Hampshire’s chase with a well-paced innings, his second half-century of the season, after Jimmy Adams had miscued to third man having become the
The Royals stumbled close to the line when Michael Carberry was run out by Rikki Clarke and they managed only three from the penultimate over bowled by Neil Carter.
But Vince and Daniel Christian managed to scramble the five runs they needed off Keith Barker’s last over to snatch victory.
Vince’s efforts backed up an excellent bowling effort from left-arm spinner Danny Briggs, who took 3-29 to take his season tally to 27 - the most by a slow bowler in the competition - and restrict the Bears.
Warwickshire were indebted to an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 58 from 45 balls between Tim Ambrose and Clarke to revive the innings after Briggs had sparked a mid-order collapse.
The 19-year-old struck with his first ball when the dangerous Barker was bowled advancing down the pitch and he then held a couple back to have Darren Maddy taken at long on and Ian Westwood at mid-off.
However, Ambrose and Clarke applied themselves sensibly to ensure that Warwickshire posted a competitive total.
It was solid rather than spectacular but Clarke pulled Australian Christian for six, his only boundary in a 19-ball 27, and Ambrose worked the ball around intelligently for 31 from 29 balls.