Hampshire gun down 210 target to leapfrog Essex

Hampshire gun down 210 target to leapfrog Essex

hampshire 212 for 6 (Vince 76, Fuller 57) beat essex 209 for 7 (Lawrence 70, Khushi 61, Turner 3-19) by four wickets

James Vince proved to be Essex’s nemesis again, as his seventh fifty of the competition underpinned defending champions Hampshire Hawks’ highest Vitality Blast chase.

Feroze Khushi and Dan Lawrence, who heads to Surrey at the end of the season, had shelled 127 for the first wicket, hitting 61 and 70 respectively, while Essex posted 209 for 7.

Vince had scored a century in the reverse encounter at Chelmsford earlier in the season and crushed 76 before James Fuller’s 57 and Benny Howell’s 34 failed to beat the Hawks.

He doomed Essex to their third successive defeat and put Hampshire level on 14 points with Eagles with a four wicket win, with a superior run rate.

Chasing 210, Ben McDermott was caught in the fourth over by Paul Walter, giving him his 13th catch of the season, an Essex T20 record, with Toby Albert also falling on the power play. But Hampshire were still on top of the chase, with Vince sweetly timing the ball on his way to 24 ball fifty.

Joe Weatherley and Ross Whiteley went back and forth, but James Fuller stuck with Vince to keep the pace going in a 50-run position. Vince’s attempt for a fourth six only picked safe hands for Walter in an over that only went for five runs from Critchley.

If that felt like a turning point, Fuller and Howell turned it back in Hawks’ favor with some outrageous jabs and a bit of luck; both fell during their time in the fold.

Fuller’s fifty came off 27 balls and he celebrated with a huge long six over to take the equation to nine from eight balls, although he was yorked on the next ball to end a 63-run clash on 31 balls. But Liam Dawson came in hitting six first balls with the last three runs coming in with four balls to spare.

Lawrence and Khushi looked to be in a race for 51st place, having been stuck in a stunning field and outfield left worn by the recent Arctic Monkeys concert.

If Lawrence were to drop a towering six on the ground, Khushi would hit one more. If Khushi got through the tip, Lawrence would cut one, but even harder.

It linked up perfectly with Essex’s straight batting approach, which had seen them lose many power play wickets early in the competition, but only dispatched the Hawks’ fielders on this occasion. There were 73 runs in the first six overs alone, including 21 from Chris Wood’s opener.

Khushi is Lawrence’s heir apparent to be Essex’s talismanic middle order, with both equally powerful and wrist-wielding batsmen. Both are three fifties into this season’s competition and only separated by one ball in their quest for the milestone – Lawrence one ball faster on 25 deliveries.

The starting position of 127 runs was Essex’s best against Hampshire in T20, beating the effort of Mark Pettini and Jesse Ryder in 2015 by a run before Lawrence was stunned by a 33-ball 70.

Michael Pepper was bowled to give Benny Howell a wicket on his return to the Ageas Bowl as Hawks fought back. John Turner finished off Khushi’s pace, before the South African-born fast bowler caught Walter up the middle and Matt Critchley freed the next ball to finish with elegant figures of 3 for 19.

Essex continued their collapse with Will Buttleman taking a reverse turn to the point and Simon Harmer was on before – Eagles lost six for 55 in the last seven overs having been 154 for 1 but still hit the sixth-highest T20 score on the ground . .