Hampshire 260 for 4 (Alsop 112*, Vince 69) beat Kent 258 (Stevens 60, Bell-Drummond 56) by six wickets
File photo – Tom Alsop made his second one-day hundred © Getty Images
Tom Alsop hit an unbeaten century to ensure Kent were outgunned with ball and bat as Hampshire wrapped up an emphatic six-wicket win in their Royal London One-Day Cup South Group opener in Canterbury.
Hampshire recovered from a patchy start to their bowling display at a cold, overcast St Lawrence ground and went on to dominate the last two-thirds of the match with opening bat Alsop, on only his 19th List A appearance, seeing his side home with an unbeaten 112 and with 29 balls to spare.
In pursuit of 259 for victory at an asking rate of 5.18 an over, Hampshire made a disastrous start in losing Michael Carberry, the former Kent and England opener, lbw to Wayne Parnell’s second delivery of the game. It also proved to be the first and only maiden of the match.
Matt Coles offered nothing like the same consistency at the Pavilion End though and conceded 35 from his first four, wicketless overs, as Hampshire’s second-wicket partners James Vince and Alsop bolted, adding 112 in 16 overs. Vince’s 50-ball stay for a majestic 69 ended when he worked across one from Darren Stevens to be sent packing lbw, but Alsop became the game’s fourth half-century maker after facing 61 balls.
Mitch Claydon jagged one down the slope and through the gate to clip Liam Dawson’s leg stump, then the same bowler found the leading edge of Jimmy Adams’s bat for a looping catch to mid-off.
It proved a false dawn under the floodlights however, as Alsop teamed up with Sean Ervine (33*) to add an unbroken 82 for the fifth wicket and ease their side over the win line. Alsop, who hit his first 50-over century against Surrey last year, reached three figures from 125 balls and with a dozen fours.
At the other end of the cricketing age scale, it had been Kent’s veteran allrounder Stevens who top scored with 60 to spare his side’s batting blushes after they had threatened to completely waste a promising start. Stevens, who turns 41 on Sunday, hit three sixes and a brace of fours to ensure the hosts posted 258 after being invited to bat first.
Kent laid decent foundations through Joe Denly and Daniel Bell Drummond, whose first-wicket stand of 94 in 15.2 overs ended when Denly miscued to mid-on against left-arm spinner Dawson.
On a slightly two-paced pitch, Kent’s innings tailed off meekly thereafter with only Stevens providing any form of prolonged resistance. Sean Dickson cut a short one to cover point then, after reaching a 63-ball fifty, Bell-Drummond followed suit by flat-batting low to a diving Chris Wood at cover.
Soon after, Wood left the field with a side strain midway through his sixth over, but Kent wickets continued to fall as Sam Northeast chipped to midwicket and Alex Blake played across the line to depart lbw. Parnell pushed inside the line of a Reece Topley leg-cutter that held its line to trim off stump, then Adam Rouse departed lbw after moving across his stumps to work to leg.
Stevens marched to his 46th List A half-century in his 294th appearance in the format, reaching the milestone from 49 balls with two fours and a brace of sixes, both over long-on.
Coles smeared across one from Dawson to be bowled before Stevens, after another straight six, miscued to extra cover off a leading edge against Topley to go for 60 off 57 balls. James Tredwell and last man Claydon saw it through to the 50th over before Claydon heaved to midwicket to give Topley figures of 3 for 65. Holland, Dawson and Crane bagged two wickets apiece.
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