Vitality Blast 2022 June 4th: Hampshire win at last
James Vince and Ben McDermott captured a new club record as Hampshire Hawks beat Sussex Sharks by 22 runs to finally taste victory in this season’s Vitality Blast.
Hampshire Hawks vs Sussex Sharks at the Ageas Bowl
Vince and McDermott, who mashed 65 and 60 respectively, crashed 124 together to break the Hawks’ best T20 opening stand to set up a mammoth total of 199 for six.
Tim Seifert hit a sublime 100 not out, and put on 69 with Delray Rawlins, in an otherwise slack chase from the Sharks as they never controlled the required rate.
Hawks had lost their first four matches but jump off the bottom of the South Group, while Sussex remain fourth after a mixed start.
A switch appeared to have flicked with Hampshire after their poor start to the tournament, with aggression channelled into ground strikes rather than chasing sixes. Vince showcased this by beautifully caressing the first ball of the match through the covers, having been put in.
It was just one of a range of classic Vince stroke play which gave the hosts a rocket of a start. At the other end, McDermott got off the mark with a huge straight six with his more brutal style. That was the first of five maximums from the Australian, with a scoop the outlier from straight and mid-wicket power.
Vince, who moved up the order having batted at No.3 previously in the Blast this season, reached his first half-century of the season first with his 33rd delivery, before McDermott followed him four balls quicker.
Their stand passed Hampshire’s previous best opening stand of 122 – set by Michael Carberry and Mitchell Stokes against Middlesex in 2006 – but two runs later it was ended when Henry Crocombe bowled Vince. It was the young fast bowler’s first of three wickets in an impressive outing.
That started the Sharks’ middle-order fightback as Hampshire lost four wickets for 23 runs. Sussex’s brilliant catching was a key reason for the momentum shift; a boundary juggle from Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Obed McCoy’s spectacular flying catch made up for some otherwise below-par ground fielding.
Hampshire accelerated towards the end thanks to Toby Albert’s inventiveness and Liam Dawson’s late swinging to reach their highest Ageas Bowl total since they smashed 202 in 2013.
Sussex’s chase never got going. The Hawks were patient before they made their breakthrough in the fourth over when Luke Wright spliced to mid-on before Ali Orr skied to keeper McDermott in the following over.
Hudson-Prentice laboured to eight from 14 balls before he top-edged James Fuller. As a point of comparison, Hampshire were 98 without loss at the 10 over stage, the Sharks were 59 for three and statistically given a one per cent chance of winning.
Ravi Bopara holed out but Seifert and Rawlins had fun with their 50-stand coming in 24 balls, with the New Zealander plundering a personal half-century in 36 deliveries. Rawlins was run out and Harrison Ward castled either side of a short rain delay. With the game already lost, Seifert plundered three straight sixes in the fianl over to collect his second T20 century off 55 balls.
Hampshire Hawks batter Ben McDermott:
“It was nice to be out there with James. He is a really calm head and played 400-odd games for the club. He knows the ground really well. I’ve played against him a lot in the bIg Bash so know how destructive he can be. It was nice to be on his side tonight and put on a good partnership.
“I think we had a couple of bowler-friendly wickets to start here and then I’m had some starts here and there but hadn’t been able to do it for long periods of time but tonight was an exception. Hopefully it is a kickstart for things to come.
“Tim played beautifully, whenever you get a hundred in a T20 it is a good effort.
“Tournament cricket is about momentum and I’ve never played in a tournament which is so congested, where games are coming thick and fast. Hopefully we can get on a bit of roll now.”
Sussex Sharks batter Tim Seifert:
“I never thought the century was in play. When we came out after the rain it was kind of like ‘see what happens’. We were always behind the eight ball but you never know what’ll happen if you take it deep.
“You’d rather win but for the confidence it is good. Whenever we wanted to start putting the pressure back on them we kept losing wickets. It was hard to get away the new ball and then we never managed to get partnerships.
“They batted really well. They got to a flier and a few wickets got us back in the game. We pride ourselves on taking wickets but we probably gave them a little too many runs at the backend.
“There is no panic at all after that. We have been playing some good cricket but we have a few things to tidy up.”