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Hampshire v Middlesex: Match Report

Hampshire win by 19 runs: Hampshire 172-3; Middlesex 153-6


Michael Carberry and Owais Shah scored fifties as Hampshire eased past Middlesex and up to second in the T20 Blast South Group. Hampshire had been on the way to posting a low score on a sluggish pitch but a 65 run partnership between former Middlesex batsman Shah and Sean Ervine set the foundations for a 19 run win.


Tight bowling from Yasir Arafat, who ended with figures of two for 21, and spinning due Will Smith and Danny Briggs ensured the chase never materialised.


After winning the toss and batting, for the third home T20 game in a row, Hampshire stuttered out the blocks– only reaching 42 at the end of the six over powerplay. A sprinting Nathan Sowter, dropped James Vince on the square leg boundary before the Hampshire skipper chopped a wide James Franklin delivery onto his own stump. Jimmy Adams came and went before Carberry steadied the ship with a 40 ball fifty, brought up with a luscious back foot four – the former England Test player has scored over 500 runs against Middlesex, more than any other player. But he fell six balls latter as he heaved Neil Dexter across the line to offer Nick Compton a simple catch on the boundary – departing for 57.


From then on in it was the Shah and Ervine show as the pair smashed the ball to all parts with an 85 run stand for the fourth wicket in 38 balls. Shah kicked off the six hitting for the evening with a high swoosh over mid-wicket, before he and Ervine traded maximums in the 17th over. Ervine thwacked a monstrous six in the penultimate over which cleared the seating and then back-to-back sixes over cow from Shah – ruined Finn figures from just over four an over to nine an over. Ex-England man Shah collected his 29th career T20 50, from 31 balls before ending the home sides’ innings with yet another maximum down the ground. Hampshire ended on 172 for three, which was the same score as the previous Blast match against Kent, with Shah and Zimbabwean Ervine clattering 42 from the final two overs.


Middlesex were apparently still reeling from Shah and Ervine’s partnership as they lost two early wickets. Chris Wood followed on his match winning four for 16 against Glamorgan last week, by forcing Compton to tamely chip to Vince at mid-on with his second delivery. And overseas seamer Arafat double the wicket column when Dawid Malan edged behind for 17 in the next over, Adam Wheater swooping full length to brilliantly catch.


Middlesex stabilised the early innings with a 41 run partnership between captain Eoin Morgan and Joe Burns for the third wicket, before the latter swatted straight to Carberry off the ever-impressive Arafat– for 18. Morgan departed for 28 as Middlesex’s chase faltered and top scorer Franklin, 31 from 18, chipped to extra cover. John Simpson slogged to Smith in the deep off Wood in the final over to condemn Middlesex to their second defeat of the competition.

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