Holland the hero for Hampshire as Essex’s 13-month unbeaten run comes off rails
Ian Holland held his nerve as Hampshire ended Essex’s 13-month unbeaten run in all competitions with a five-wicket win at Chelmsford.
All-rounder Holland edged Hampshire over the line with a ball to spare to eke out a nervy victory, having needed six off the final over.
Essex – who had been stunted by Mason Crane’s brilliant three for 18 – had not lost since being beaten by Somerset in the Vitality Blast on Aug 7 last year.
In reply to Essex’s laboured 139 for six, Hampshire rode their luck in the early stages. George Munsey was dropped by Ryan Ten Doeschate on nine, and again on 12, this time by former England batsman Tom Westley at mid-off.
Simon Harmer did make the breakthrough when Tom Alsop was caught by Westley, who appeared to dislocate a finger in the process.
Hampshire reached 64 for one at the halfway point and Munsey, who top-scored with 32, pushed the run rate along. Having forced a tie against Surrey at the weekend, Matt Quinn had six runs to defend off the final over. But Holland and James Fuller rotated the strike nicely, before the former handed Hampshire their maiden victory in the 2020 Blast with a straight drive for the needed single.
Heino Kuhn marked his first in
nings as a father with a match-winning 42 not out from 31 balls to see Kent to a five-wicket victory over
Surrey and their opening win of this season’s south group qualifiers.
Kuhn, whose wife Trudie gave birth to a baby daughter last week, maintained a cool head to strike four boundaries and see the Spitfires over the line.
Classy knocks by Hashim Amla (75) and an unbeaten 56 from Rory Burns had underpinned Surrey’s total of 161 for four. Kent had a shaky start in reply, but with 25 needed from the remaining 24 balls, Kuhn plundered four off Matt Dunn, then Grant Stewart raised Kent’s 150 with a sliced drive to reduce the target to nine off 12 balls
Stewart, who finished on 21, muscled a back-foot six over longoff and then sprinted a couple to deep midwicket to win it with nine balls in hand. Middlesex’s 165 for five was not enough as Sussex, thanks to an unbeaten 79 from David Wiese, surged to a three-wicket win.
Northampton produced an allround effort with the ball to see off Birmingham Bears by 38 runs. The Steelbacks’ 158 for seven looked below par but the Bears struggled in reply. Meanwhile, Somerset overcame Glamorgan by eight wickets – Tom Abell smashing 74 not out as they chased down their target of 134.
End of the run: Simon Harmer could not lead his Essex side to victory over Hampshire