Hampshire 150-6 (Adams 43) beat
Yorkshire 140-8 (Miller 72no) by 10 runs
Final, FLt20, Cardiff
David Miller gave them a scare but Danny Briggs and Chris Wood held their nerve as Hampshire won the 2012 Friends Life t20 by 10 runs over Yorkshire. Miller had the equation down to 21 off the final two overs after Yorkshire had looked out of it at 53 for four, but Briggs bowled a tight penultimate over which went for just seven runs and Wood hit the block-hole with consistency in the final over and they ended short on 140 for eight.
Dimitri Mascarenhas had again bowled an exceptional spell with the new ball, in spite of having a shoulder problem, and conceded only 20 runs from his four overs as well as picking up the key wickets of a trigger-happy Andrew Gale and Joe Root.
Liam Dawson and Chris Wood both bowled tidily during the middle overs as all of Yorkshire’s middle-order struggled to find the boundary on the slow Cardiff pitch, while Briggs chipped in with the key wicket of the in-form Jonny Bairstow, finding just enough turn to graze the outside edge of his bat.
At 53 for four at the halfway stage, Yorkshire were clear second favourites. However, Miller changed all of that in the space of just four balls from Sean Ervine, striking three of them for six down the ground – including adding another ball to the tally in the River Taff. Miller bears a slight resemblance to Eoin Morgan in both his stance and the manner of his ball-striking; his quick hands providing him with a power which belies his relatively slight stature.
He overcame the loss of Gary Ballance to Ervine in the 15th over and was joined by Tim Bresnan. The two added 50 in just 28 balls with Miller – having benefited from being given not out after a low catch was referred to the TV umpire – hitting 10 off the last two balls of the 16th over and eight off the last two balls of the 18th over. However, Briggs’ accurate 19th over piled on the pressure and Bresnan skied the first ball of the final over to Sean Ervine at point to mark the beginning of the end – something which looked even more likely when Miller lost the strike to new batsman Richard Pyrah off the next ball, leaving him the virtually impossible task of trying to score 13 from the final four balls. The next two balls went for singles, while Pyrah chopped onto his stumps from the fifth to spark wild celebrations from Wood and, a ball later, from the Hampshire team as a whole.
Earlier in the evening, Hampshire’s approach had been one of accumulation and pragmatism rather than one of aggression and bravado as, having seen the semi-finals play out, they obviously decided that anything in excess of 140 would be a defendable total. Jimmy Adams and James Vince added a steady 47 for the second-wicket, while Sean Ervine and Simon Katich added a couple of slightly more aggressive innings to haul the total up to 150 for six at the end of their 20 overs. For Yorkshire, Ryan Sidebottom took two for 20, while Azeem Rafiq bowled his four overs for 22, making the decision not to include fellow spinner Adil Rashid in the starting eleven even more puzzling.
However, the defining image of the evening will be Chris Wood’s extravagant and out-of-character celebrations upon dismissing Richard Pyrah one ball before the end and the repeating of those celebrations one ball later when Hampshire’s victory was officially confirmed.
© Cricket World 2012
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