By Alun Rhys Chivers
A partnership of 95 between Lewis McManus and George Bailey, and a spell of 4 for 20 in four overs by leg-spinner Shahid Afridi, were enough to give Hampshire the perfect start to their T20 Blast campaign, as they beat Glamorgan at Cardiff by 22 runs.
Skipper James Vince got Hampshire off to a flying Friday night start, sharing an opening stand of 52 with Rilee Rossouw, with the pair hitting ten fours in the first three overs.
But Michael Hogan finally broke the partnership as keeper Chris Cooke claimed the catch off the edge of Vince’s bat, the batsman having hit 31 from 15 balls, including seven fours.
Hampshire’s scoring rate slowed noticeably after the wicket, which in turn brought about a second, Michael Hogan bowling Rilee Rossouw in the sixth over for 18, as Hampshire reached the end of the powerplay on 59-2.
A third wicket soon followed as Michael Carberry swiped Marchant de Lange to keeper Cooke for four. Sean Ervine followed three overs later, as he found Marchant de Lange at long-off from the bowling of spinner Andrew Salter for six, Hampshire struggling at 70 for 4 at the halfway mark.
But they recovered thanks to Bailey and McManus, who guided them to 102-4 after 15 overs, before the latter struck two consecutive sixes off Colin Ingram in the sixteenth over. He dealt de Lange the same treatment in the following over before swiping him for four as they reached 128 for 4. The 95-run partnership was broken by a magnificent catch in the cover by Ingram off Graham Wagg as Hampshire finished their innings on 167 for 5, Michael Hogan finishing with figures of 2 for 25.
Glamorgan got off to the worst possible start, losing two wickets in the first over for three runs. David Lloyd edged to Sean Ervine off Reece Topley from the very first ball of the innings, before Ingram drove to Gareth Berg in the covers.
Glamorgan recovered to 43 for 2 at the end of the powerplay before Afridi struck twice in two balls, bowling Aneurin Donald for 25 before Kiran Carlson was trapped lbw for 0.
Jacques Rudolph was the fifth man to fall, the third to Afridi, as he drove to skipper Vince for 18 in the ninth over at 47 for 5.
Cooke and Graham Wagg had struck up a 50 partnership by the time Glamorgan reached the 100 mark in the 14th over, still requiring 64 of the last six overs. But Afridi struck for a fourth time, in the 15th over, as Cooke pulled to Michael Carberry on the mid-wicket boundary.
Wagg reached his half-century before he was caught by James Vince off Mason Crane for 50 as Glamorgan were 114 for 7, still requiring 54 off the remaining four overs. But De Lange quickly followed, bowled by Topley after crashing a four off his first ball.
Needing 27 to win from the final six deliveries, Timm van der Gugten drove to Rossouw at long-on off Gareth Berg, leaving Hampshire to claim a 22-run victory.