Hampshire fold to Aces
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 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.