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Hants beat Lancashire to win T20 for third time

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Vitality Blast final, Edgbaston
Hampshire 152-8: McDermott 62; Parkinson 4-26, Wood 2-26
Lancashire 151-8: Croft 36; Fuller 2-19, Dawson 2-23
Hampshire won by 1 run
Scorecard

Hampshire won the T20 for a record-equalling third time as they kept their heads to beat Lancashire in a remarkable final in Birmingham.

With Lancashire needing four off the last ball, chasing 152-8, Hampshire celebrated when Nathan Ellis bowled Richard Gleeson, only to be no-balled.

But, now needing only two to win, Lancashire finished on 151-8 to lose for the third time in a T20 final.

Ben McDermott starred with 62 for the Hawks in a dramatic Edgbaston thriller.

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The son of former Australia Test great Craig McDermott, that was enough to earn him the man of the match award – and cap a campaign haul for the Hawks of 494 runs.

Hampshire’s third win, and their first at Edgbaston, after victories at Southampton in 2010 and Cardiff in 2012, matched Leicestershire’s haul of three T20 trophies.

But, on a record-equalling ninth Finals Day for both sides, the 2015 winners ended up losing in the final again – just as they first did to Somerset at The Oval in 2005, then the Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston in 2014.

Lancashire had beaten Hampshire three times in their previous four T20 meetings, although the most recent was in the 2015 semi-finals.

And after earlier overpowering Yorkshire in a game of two 200-plus scores in the first Finals Day Roses Match, Lancashire’s new England white-ball paceman Richard Gleeson made a quick breakthrough when he bowled Hawks skipper James Vince with the ninth ball of the innings – and semi-final hero Tom Prest quickly followed.

Joe Weatherley and Liam Dawson then both holed out cheaply off Matt Parkinson, who added the big wicket when he bowled McDermott in his third over – before taking a fourth in his last to bag Ellis too.

Left-armer Luke Wood, a T20 Blast final winner with Worcestershire in 2018, also bowled very tidily to take 2-26.

Only two sides had successfully defended a total lower than 152 in a T20 final, Hampshire themselves against Yorkshire in Cardiff in 2012, when they had only made 150-6, and Leicestershire a year earlier, winning by 18 runs after only posting 145-6 against Somerset.

Phil Salt got the Lancashire run-chase off to a flier when he went 4-6 off his first two deliveries, but he then gave a catch off the third.

That brought in Steven Croft, their all-time leading T20 scorer, who played superbly for his 36 until being given out when an edge off Mason Crane was fumbled by McDermott but unluckily ended up caught in the wicketkeeper’s pad.

From being well set on 72-1 in the eighth over, Croft’s departure caused Lancashire to hit the panic button, Keaton Jennings and Dane Vilas got themselves out with loose shots, and big-hitting Tim David flopped when he missed a straight one from James Fuller.

Nathan Ellis showed his death bowling skills to complete Hampshire’s triumph

Luke Wells thought he had turned it with a six and four in successive balls off Wood, but they needed 11 off the last over, and Hampshire, superbly skippered by three-times winner and last season’s winning men’s Hundred captain Vince, just about held their nerve.

The fireworks and pyrotechnics department had gone into overdrive – and Hampshire’s victory party had already started – when umpire Graham Lloyd correctly called Aussie paceman Ellis for overstepping.

But it was only a temporary reprieve and, when the smoke had cleared, Ellis foxed Gleeson by producing an excellent slower ball, Lancashire could only scramble a single – and Hampshire, who began the competition by losing their first four group matches, were now free to start the party for real.

Hampshire fast bowler Nathan Ellis:

“It was my own fault but I guess it added to the occasion. My heart sank when I saw the umpire’s arm had gone up and I realised we were now in danger of losing the game.

“The scenario had changed. It meant that, if they now scored two, they would tie the game and win on losing fewer wickets.

“But James Vince was really good in the situation, He’s definitely one of the calmer captains I’ve played under.

“He got us all together, made us take a few deep breaths, made sure everyone was aware of the situation – and that went a long way to helping us calm down and get our heads right again.”

Hampshire skipper James Vince told BBC Sport:

“The way Nathan Ellis regrouped was outstanding. He felt himself confident enough to go to that slower ball, and a lot of credit has to go to him.

“I just wanted to double check with the umpires what the situation was if it was a tie and that they would now win if they got two runs. But, when Nelly bowled his slow ball and we broke the stumps then we are able to celebrate for a second time.

“We have a never-say-die attitude in that team. We never feel like we’re beaten. Our bowling attack has been top drawer throughout the competition. We’ve taken wickets at the right times.

“After the first four games we’ve been immense. And the final was just a great game of cricket.”

Lancashire captain Dane Vilas told BBC Radio Lancashire:

“I’m immensely proud of the team to get this far, to take it down to the wire, to give ourselves a chance to win the competition.

“But obviously I’m hugely disappointed to be talking to you rather than over there lifting the champagne.

“We were confident going in to the chase and started really well but we just needed a couple more partnerships and lost wickets here and there.

“They bowled extremely well. They put us under big pressure. Credit to them. They did fantastically well and ultimately are deserved champions.”

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