One-Day Cup final: Somerset beat holders Hampshire to win last-ever Lord's final
|Royal London One-Day Cup final, Lord's|
|Hampshire 244-8 (50 overs): Northeast 56, Fuller 55*; J Overton 3-48|
|Somerset 245-4 (43.3 overs): Banton 69, Hildreth 69*, Azhar 45; Edwards 3-60|
|Somerset won by six wickets|
Somerset cemented their place in cricket history as the last county to win a Lord's final by beating Hampshire by six wickets to lift the One-Day Cup.
Without their two England men, James Vince and Liam Dawson, holders Hampshire were outplayed to lose only a second final in nine Lord's visits.
Somerset limited Hampshire to 244-8, then reached 245-4 with 39 balls left.
Openers Tom Banton (69) and Azhar Ali (45) put on 112 before James Hildreth's unbeaten 72 sealed victory.
For Somerset, it was only the eighth trophy in their history, their first since winning the Twenty20 in 2005 and their first at Lord's since 2001.
After so many near misses in recent years, and having found it hard to match their golden age of success in the days of Ian Botham, Viv Richards and Joel Garner, it also heralds a potential era of dominance for the resurgent West Country club.
They lead the County Championship - which they have never won - by two points from Hampshire and have already publicly set their sights on matching Warwickshire's unique achievement 25 years ago of a domestic treble.
Despite Banton's electric 69-ball innings, and two key early wickets from Josh Davey, the winner of the man-of-the-match award was Jamie Overton, who got two of his three wickets with top edges to long leg.
Hard work for Hampshire
After winning the toss and opting to bat, the first three in the Hampshire order - which was also missing South African Aidan Markram - all got to double figures but then failed to progress further.
It took a half-century from Sam Northeast to get them moving, with the stand-in skipper sharing stands of 46 with last year's Lord's final centurion Rilee Rossouw and Gareth Berg to pull his side up to 164-5.
When Northeast was bowled by Tom Abell, it was the first of three quick wickets.
Chris Wood holed out three balls later before Kyle Abbott was also bowled by Abell and it looked as if the Hampshire innings might implode.
With more than nine overs still to bat out, James Fuller (55 not out) and Crane (28 not out) mixed sensible shot selection with a few late bludgeons to give the holders a reasonable total to defend.
Somerset steered safely home
While Hampshire knew they were under par at halfway, they also knew that early wickets for Fidel Edwards and Kyle Abbott might put a different complexion on the contest.
Crucially, despite a few anguished early shouts, they did not get them as Banton tucked into Edwards, helping to take 31 off the West Indian's first three overs.
It took until the 20th over to forge a breakthrough when Edwards returned to remove both openers in the space of 14 balls.
But, by then, Somerset were almost halfway to their target.
And, although Fuller got rid of Peter Trego for 29 and Edwards claimed a third scalp in Abell, the calming presence of Hildreth saw them home.
So where next for the One-Day Cup final?
The England & Wales Cricket Board announced in February that, from the 2020 season onwards, they would be switching the venue of the One-Day Cup final from Lord's to Trent Bridge, Nottingham, for the next five years.
That made this, the 89th Lord's one-day final, almost certainly the last. And, sadly, even on such a fine day in the capital, it was a long way short of being full.
The official attendance of 15,746 was, in the end, favourably received, given that the timing of this year's final will certainly not have helped boost numbers.
Having all the group games together at the start of the season is the right idea, turning the tournament into a more self-contained World-Cup type format.
But then cramming in the knockout stages just as the real World Cup is about to start was questionable.
And the earliest-ever Lord's final ended up taking very much a back seat behind two World Cup warm-up games.
Not just the England-Australia match at Southampton, which featured two of Hampshire's key players Vince and Dawson, but there was also another, better attended, game across the capital at The Oval between India and New Zealand.
Somerset skipper Tom Abell told BBC Sport:
"Taking early wickets was key for us as it slowed them down and full credit to our bowlers - it was a great effort to keep them to 244 on that wicket.
"We lost the toss in the semi and probably would have had a bowl first, then I lost the toss again today and would have had a bat first. But that's just the way it works out sometimes. We didn't read too much into it.
"We set out at the start of the season to win all three completions and this was just the first one that came along. But I guess it does break the shackles a bit."
Somerset paceman Jamie Overton (who won the man-of-the-match award):
"We've fallen short a few times over the last few years, so for us to win our first trophy in 14 years is an unbelievable feeling."
Hampshire stand-in skipper Sam Northeast told BBC Sport:
"By playing an extra bowler in Chris Wood, one of the guys in the top six was going to have to go on with a big one and it just didn't happen.
"They bowled really well and put us under pressure straight away. We needed a good start and we didn't get one.
"But that was still a pretty impressive performance by Tom Banton for a youngster in his first Lord's final. He plays with no fear.
"It's disappointing to lose but it's back to the County Championship for us. That now has to be our priority."