- CB40 semi-finals
Hampshire to meet Warwickshire in CB40 final
Hampshire remain on course for a domestic double in limited-overs cricket after Sussex's semi-final frailties were exposed for the second week running in an eight-wicket defeat. Despite a century of controlled aggression from Luke Wright, Hampshire shredded what could have been a testing chase with a 129-run stand inside the first 13 overs, to set up a repeat of their 2005 C&G Trophy final against Warwickshire.
With FLt20 silverware already in the cabinet, there was a thought that one or two of the more 'experienced' members of the Hampshire side may have had a eye on some deckchair time by the seaside but even without the taped-up talisman of their T20 triumph, injured allrounder Dimitri Mascarenhas, there was no sign that the visitors had begun to build mental sandcastles. Rather it was Sussex, FLt20 semi-finalists and defeated at the same stage in this competition last year, who were left to rue another failure to launch.
James Vince and Michael Carberry eviscerated the home attack with a calculated onslaught that took Hampshire more than halfway to their target of 220, silencing the crowd and, in Carberry's case, endangering a few of them too. "It looked difficult to score in the middle period so we had to do the early damage up front while the ball was hard and coming on to the bat," he said.
While Vince pierced the field with a series of back-foot drives, Carberry was a more muscular aggressor, smashing five sixes back down the ground. The biggest came via a huge mow that cleared the video screen on the north-east corner of the ground, as the left-hander reached his fifty from 25 deliveries during a sequence of 6-4-4-4 against Chris Liddle.
Carberry has been mentioned as a potential successor to Andrew Strauss at the top of England's Test order and his Man of the Match performance, like Wright's display in defeat, will not have gone unnoticed. He departed trying to smash a second six off Will Beer, underhitting by a matter of inches to be caught at long-on, before Vince fell to the same bowler one run later but Jimmy Adams and Simon Katich went about accumulating the further 90 required in the same unfussy manner of their t20 Finals Day contributions.
At the mid-innings break in the other CB40 semi-final between Warwickshire and Lancashire, it was, to borrow a phrase from the pilot episode of The West Wing, six to five and pick 'em which county would be playing at Lord's in a fortnight's time. Warwickshire's tally of 250 had featured an anchoring century by the eventual Man of the Match Varun Chopra but his team's total seemed not much better than par on a good pitch. Moreover, the home side's record in CB40 matches this summer was impressive.
After 11 overs of Lancashire's reply, though, they were 50 for 3 and their recent annals of failure in semi-finals were returning to haunt them. Despite Paul Horton's immensely resourceful 63-ball 78, Jim Troughton's bowlers and fielders kept their boots on the throats of Lancashire's batsmen in effective fashion and if anything, the 23-run margin of victory flattered Lancashire rather.