Hampshire win Vitality Blast after edging out Lancashire in dramatic final
Hampshire collected their first Vitality Blast crown in a decade after edging out Lancashire in the final in a low-scoring thriller that went down to the last ball at Edgbaston.
While Matt Parkinson claimed four for 26 having been released from England duty to feature at Finals Day, Ben McDermott’s 62 off 36 balls proved more significant as Hampshire got to 152 for eight.
Lancashire became the first team to chase down a 200-plus total at Finals Day in overcoming Yorkshire in their semi but they were beaten by a solitary run on a wearing pitch following an extraordinary finale.
With four required from the last ball, Nathan Ellis’ yorker cannoned into Richard Gleeson’s stumps but as fireworks filled the night sky, replays showed the Australia quick had remarkably overstepped.
Ellis quickly regained his composure following the no-ball as Gleeson swung at fresh air with the free hit before scurrying through for a single, ultimately of no consequence as Hampshire claimed their third title, equalling Leicestershire’s record for the most domestic T20 titles in England.
They had earlier ended a luckless run in semi-finals, overcoming Somerset by 37 runs, following five successive defeats over the last 10 years and they went all the way here courtesy of McDermott’s counter-attacking innings and a disciplined bowling performance in the final.
Lancashire looked to be in control on 72 for one in the eighth over but spin twins Liam Dawson and Mason Crane stifled the run-rate before the Red Rose ultimately subsided, rendering their own excellent bowling display a mere footnote after they were asked to field first in the Saturday gloam.
Gleeson had leaked 54 runs against Yorkshire seven days after starring on his England debut here, but he made a telling breakthrough in the showpiece by locating the off-stump of James Vince, the tournament’s leading run-scorer, while Tom Prest was cramped for room on the pull off Luke Wood.
From 15 for two, McDermott eased the building pressure with two front-foot fours off Gleeson before swinging handsomely through the line as first Wood then Danny Lamb were carted for six.
However, wickets continued to fall around him as Parkinson knocked over Joe Weatherley on the sweep then Dawson, who lofted to wide long-off.
At 69 for four at halfway, McDermott had seen enough and went hard in Liam Wells’ only over, taking 21 including a slog sweep for six and a drive over long-off either side of reaching a 32-ball fifty.
But his lone stand ended as Parkinson got a hint of drift bamboozling McDermott, bowled through the gate.
Ellis then picked out Tim David at deep midwicket to give Parkinson his fourth although there were cameos from Ross Whiteley (22) and Chris Wood (20 not out), which gave Hampshire hope.
Phil Salt clattered 36 off 15 balls earlier in the day and again bristled with intent, pulling for four then clearing deep midwicket on a free hit after Wood had overstepped.
But Wood had his revenge as Salt spliced another pull and was caught in the deep in an eventful first over of the chase that yielded 13.
Steven Croft collected four successive fours off Brad Wheal as Lancashire raced to 60 for one from the powerplay but the introduction of spin halted their progress.
Dawson, in particular, was excellent and had Croft caught down the leg-side by a juggling McDermott for 36 before Dane Vilas chipped to cover.
While slow left-armer Dawson and leg-spinner Crane conceded one boundary apiece, the quicks kept the pressure on when they returned.
With the tension increasing David, Lancashire’s finisher with 405 runs at a strike-rate of 174.56 this year, was trapped plumb in front by James Fuller.
Wells, whose decision to review an lbw verdict off Crane was vindicated as technology showed a googly was turning too much, heaved Wood for six then drove for four.
But Wells was then run out for 27 after attempting a scampered single, with Vince knocking down the stumps to leave 11 required from six balls.
Luke Wood was run out as the equation came down to six to tie – Lancashire would have won if the scores had been level because of a superior powerplay score – but while Gleeson scrambled a couple, he could not lay a bat on the no-ball or the last legitimate delivery as the Red Rose finished on 151 for eight.
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