By Alun Rhys Chivers
It was a night to behold for the spinners at the Ageas Bowl as Hampshire came out on top of their T20 Blast clash with Glamorgan, beating the table-topping Welsh county by eight wickets under the lights on Thursday.
Skipper James Vince struck an unbeaten 60 after a combination of leg-spinners Shahid Afridi and Mason Crane, and left-arm spinner Liam Dawson, did the damage to reduce Glamorgan to 118-6 in their 20 overs.
Crane finished with three for 21 in his four overs, as Dawson picked up two for 15 in his allocation. Pakistan international Afridi took one for 16.
Having elected to bat first on the first dry day of three in Southampton, Glamorgan got off to the worst possible start as they lost Aneurin Donald, who was bowled by Dawson for nought from the third ball of the innings.
Colin Ingram struck a six and a four off Gareth Berg in the second over before being caught by Chris Wood off Dawson for 13, the spinner claiming his second wicket, reducing Glamorgan to 15-2.
The Welshmen were 34-2 at the end of the powerplay, but soon lost their third wicket when young Australian Nick Selman was bowled by Crane for 17 in the ninth over on 46-3.
Having struggled to 53-3 at the halfway stage, Glamorgan lost two wickets in successive deliveries when Chris Cooke was caught by Berg off Crane for five attempting a heave, before skipper Jacques Rudolph was stumped by Calvin Dickinson for 20. Glamorgan found themselves in deep trouble at 56-5.
The English county soon claimed a sixth wicket when Craig Meschede was bowled by Shahid Afridi for four, and Glamorgan were 65-6.
But Andrew Salter (37 not out) and Graham Wagg added 53 to lead Glamorgan to respectability. Salter’s contribution came from 27 balls, as he hit three fours and a six.
Chasing 119 for the win, Hampshire got off to an equally poor start as they lost Calvin Dickinson, lbw to Colin Ingram for three at the end of the first over, the Englishmen on 8-1.
As James Vince was beginning to make batting look easy, his side lost their second wicket to Colin Ingram when Tom Alsop drove at Marchant de Lange at long off for 28, and Hampshire were 76-2 in the ninth over.
Vince reached his half-century from 32 balls, hitting nine fours, as his side closed in on victory by eight wickets inside 14 overs.
Glamorgan face a trip to Taunton on Sunday before rounding off the group stage with the visit of Middlesex to Cardiff next Friday.
It remains to be seen whether or not they can secure the all-important home tie in the last eight, which they should reach with relative ease.