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Hampshire fold to Aces

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Hampshire's hopes of reaching the Champions League competition proper ended with a comprehensive eight-wicket defeat against Auckland Aces.

Dimitri Mascarenhas' side needed to emerge victorious today to have any chance of qualifying from a three-team group that also includes Sialkot Stallions, who were beaten by the Aces yesterday.

However, the Royals lost a crucial toss and were asked to bat on what was initially an extremely difficult surface.

Azhar Mahmood & James Vince

Azhar Mahmood claims the first of five wickets that helped Auckland end Hampshire's hopes of making the Champions League tournament proper

Azhar Mahmood capitalised on the helpful conditions by claiming 5-24 as the Royals were restricted to 121 for eight despite Michael Carberry's run-a-ball 65.

That total proved insufficient, with Martin Guptill striking 38 and Azhar an unbeaten 55 to steer Auckland to a comfortable success on an improving pitch.

The result means Hampshire's next match, against Sialkot tomorrow, is inconsequential with Auckland having already secured the place in the next phase.

Hampshire made a flying start as Carberry cut Kyle Mills for six second ball before James Vince grabbed a maximum by driving Azhar over long-on.

Vince fell attempting to repeat the trick as Andre Adams took a comfortable catch at mid-on, after which Azhar also got rid of Jimmy Adams and Shahid Afridi.

Glenn Maxwell and Sean Ervine duly fell, and Azhar completed his five-wicket haul by having Liam Dawson and Mascarenhas caught at extra-cover and deep point respectively.

Amid wickets tumbling, Carberry was batting without fluency but showing patience and capitalising on anything short

Having rode his luck, he eventually fell to a stunning piece of fielding as Lou Vincent, having initially come in too far, ran back at long-off and took an excellent one-handed catch.

Vincent got Auckland off to a flier in reply, while Guptill showed his form with two glorious sixes off Kabir Ali and Chris Wood.

That paved the way for Azhar, who - having starred with the ball - struck four sixes, including one into the SuperSport Park pool, and five fours to see Auckland into the next phase.

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