T20 Blast: Lancashire outplay Hampshire to reach final
|NatWest T20 Blast, Edgbaston|
|Lancashire Lightning 160-5 (19 overs) v Hampshire 101 (14.1 overs) by 41 runs (D/L method)|
Lancashire won through to face Birmingham Bears in the T20 Blast final as they defeated Hampshire by 41 runs in a rain-affected game at Edgbaston.
Tom Smith was lbw to Hampshire namesake Will from the first ball of the game, but Ashwell Prince hit an unbeaten 72.
Karl Brown weighed in with 41 as the Red Rose county posted 160-5 from 19 overs despite Will Smith taking 3-15.
Facing a revised target of 143 from 16 overs, Hampshire were all out for 101 in 14.1 overs despite Jimmy Adams' 53.
It was a desperately disappointing effort by the 2010 and 2012 winners, with Michael Carberry (10) the only other batsman to reach double figures.
|No substitute for silverware|
|Lancashire have won more T20 matches than any other county, but have only reached one previous final - losing to Somerset in 2005|
Lancashire opted to go into the game without all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, back in the squad after a calf injury, but did include his former England team-mate James Anderson to spearhead their attack.
The start could hardly have been worse, however, as Usman Khawaja flailed at a ball from Chris Wood and was caught at slip following Tom Smith's departure, and they were 8-2 when rain arrived for the first time in the third over.
Prince and Brown steadied the ship after the resumption, adding 69 before Smith bowled the latter off an under-edge and then won an lbw decision against the dangerous Jos Buttler two balls later.
But Prince reached his fifty off 37 balls with one of three sixes and Paul Horton (19) and Steven Croft (22 not out) helped him give their bowlers a decent total to defend before the return of the rain cut their innings short.
Hampshire were soon in trouble in reply as skipper James Vince hit Anderson straight to cover in his first over and Carberry (10) chipped a catch to mid-on.
Owais Shah did not last long and Will Smith, having lunged out of his ground, was stumped when a leg-side delivery from Croft bounced out of wicketkeeper Buttler's gloves and into the stumps.
Adams hit a glorious six off Kabir Ali and progressed to a 37-ball half-century, but it was a procession at the other end as Anderson (2-24), Croft (2-11), Stephen Parry (2-22) and Tom Smith (2-28) shared out the wickets.
Jordan Clark brought the game to an end with his first delivery as Wood gave catching practice to Paul Horton at mid-off, with Lancashire hoping to finally get their hands on T20 silverware.