Hawks soar to Trophy glory
Hampshire have triumphed at Lord's for the second time in five years after cruising to a six-wicket win over Sussex to win the Friends Provident Trophy.
Chasing 220 to win, Hampshire were indebted to a entertaining 93-run opening stand between Jimmy Adams and Michael Lumb which laid the foundations for the victory chase.
Adams top-scored with 55 while Lumb, Michael Carberry, Chris Benham and Nic Pothas all made valuable contributions to see their side over the line.
Earlier in the day Dominic Cork rolled back the years with 4-41 which included dismissing the top three Sussex batsmen - a triple blow the Sharks never recovered from.
Mike Yardy did his best to make it a contest with a typically gutsy 92 not out but Sussex's 219 for nine was never enough.
On a sunny morning, showman Cork proved he still has an appetite for the big stage by dismantling the Sussex top order.
Sussex openers Ed Joyce and Nash appeared relatively untroubled in putting on 30 for the first wicket when Cork intervened.
Joyce, a centurion in the semi-final win over Gloucestershire, had just laced Cork through the covers when he played on as he tried to shoulder arms to a ball which lifted off a length.
Matt Prior, on the same ground where he triumphed with England, survived a big shout for leg before first ball but was not so fortunate with the next delivery, Cork nipping one down the Lord's slope which the Sussex man tickled through to a jubilant Pothas.
Chris Nash, who hit his first ball for four before moving to 21, was the next to go, adjudged lbw on the front foot as Cork continued to wreak havoc.
It got worse for Sussex in the 14th over when Murray Goodwin attempted a suicidal single to Chris Tremlett at mid-off and was run out by the giant bowler who swooped and threw the stumps down to beat the batsman's desperate dive.
Tremlett's wonderful piece of fielding meant Sussex had lost four wickets for just 13 runs in the space of 41 deliveries.
Just like he did in the 2006 final, Yardy mounted a spirited fightback as he and Luke Wright tried to dig his side out of trouble.
With boundaries scarce - Sussex had not found the ropes in seven overs - Yardy cracked three in the space of four balls, a punch through the covers off Dimitri Mascarenhas followed by two sweetly struck drives from Imran Tahir's legspin.
The pair had put on 34 much-needed runs when Sussex suffered another setback in the 22nd over. Wright had crawled uncharacteristically to seven off 25 balls when Tremlett ripped through his loose defence as his side slid deeper into trouble at 77 for five.
Dwayne Smith was not prepared to let the perilous situation prevent him from playing his natural game and he gave the suffering Sussex supporters something to cheer about by clattering Sean Ervine for the game's first six over long-on.
The pair brought up the 100 in the 26th over, the second fifty coming in surprisingly rapid time - from just 62 balls.
But just as the duo were building some momentum, the rug was pulled from underneath Sussex once more when Smith pulled Tahir straight down the throat of Carberry who was patrolling the Grandstand boundary.
Rory Hamilton-Brown, adopting Smith's positive approach, danced down the wicket early in his innings to loft Liam Dawson elegantly over mid-off for four.
At the other end Yardy continued to graft away, reaching his fifty from 76 balls, as Sussex crept towards respectability.
The pair added 60, comfortably the highest stand of the innings, before Hamilton-Brown chipped Tahir straight to Mascarenhas at midwicket for 32.
Yasir Arafat soon went, caught behind off the miserly Mascarenhas, followed by Robin Martin-Jenkins who became Cork's fourth victim as Sussex threatened to fold in a late rally for runs.
But Yardy poked and prodded to ensure his bowlers had something to defend.
The Hampshire reply began in belligerent fashion as Adams and Lumb tore into the Sussex new ball attack of James Kirtley and Arafat.
Adams, man of the match in the semi-final against Lancashire, was particularly savage against Kirtley, plundering three boundaries in one over, all powerfully driven.
Wright gave Sussex a sniff of victory by dismissing both openers in quick succession.
Adams had made an entertaining 55 before Wright trapped him leg before.
The more sedate Lumb, who was yesterday named in England's preliminary 30-man squad for the ICC Champions Trophy, reached 38 before he became Wright's second victim, caught behind by Prior.
Sussex's hopes of more quick wickets were soon extinguished by the buccaneering Carberry who stole back the impetus with consecutive boundaries of the returning Arafat.
Hampshire hearts stopped momentarily when Sean Ervine, yet to get off the mark, hooked Wright for six just over the head of Robin Martin-Jenkins at fine-leg.
Hampshire stuttered briefly when they slipped to 154 for four, Carberry caught and bowled by Arafat while Ervine holed out to Nash on the square leg boundary off Wright.
Again Hampshire responded with Pothas driving his first ball for four as he and Chris Benham put on a half-century stand at more than a run a ball.