Four wicket hauls from Hampshire’s Chris Wood and Glamorgan’s Graham Wagg were the highlight of a thrilling Blast encounter at the SWALEC Stadium, with the visitors taking the honours by 21 runs.
At 39 for four, Hampshire had looked close to dead and buried after being put in to bat by Glamorgan, but a 49 from Sean Ervine and Will Smith’s 30 helped the two-time winners to a respectable figure, a total they ultimately defended in Wales.
It was Glamorgan’s overseas star who began the impressive start for the hosts. With Wayne Parnell ridding Hampshire of captain James Vince and Jimmy Adams with just 11 on the board, the latter evidently frustrated with his dismissal, playing a cut straight to Craig Meschede at third man.
The situation failed to improve for Hampshire, with dangerman Michael Carberry back in the pavilion soon after with just four to his name, as Wagg produced an edge that was snapped up by Mark Wallace behind the stumps. The Glamorgan faithful could hardly believe what they were seeing.
Following Owais Shah’s dismissal – also to Wagg – with the score on 39, Hampshire began to plant the roots of recovery, with Ervine and Adam Wheater both finding the boundary to keep the scoreboard motoring, easing the pressure in the process. The wicket of Wheater hindered that, however, with Andrew Salter getting the scalp to bring Will Smith to the crease at 73/5
Boundaries were hardly free flowing for Hampshire, but with ones and twos being picked up with regularity, 150 was well within reach should the big hitters reach their stride come the final few overs.
Ervine was not to be one of those, however, departing at the start of the 17th over for 49, as Wagg claimed his third wicket with the Zimbabwean trapped lbw. Any emphatic hitting was not forthcoming thereafter, but Smith’s 30, coupled with Wood’s 18 from 13 balls, kept Hampshire in the game should they have a decent start with the ball.
And a decent start they duly had. Smith continued his decent all-round performance, with is wily off-spin claiming a wicket from just the second ball as Ben Wright fell without score in a chase of 149.
Chris Wood then got in the act, bowling both Chris Cooke and Colin Ingram for single-figure, with the 24-year old finishing with a superb 4/16 from his four overs, with 14 of his 24 deliveries culminating in dot balls.
At 13 for three, Glamorgan were in even more of a hole than Hampshire before them, but like their counterparts the Welsh county had some willing partnership builders, as Jacques Rudolph and Wallace put on 69 for the fourth wicket to give their side a chance on a difficult batting wicket at Sophia Gardens.
With 74 runs still needed from the last 48 balls, the odds were slightly in favour of the visitors, a notion exemplified with two quick wickets in two overs to all but end Glamorgan’s chances. Rudolph was the first to go, caught and bowled by Ervine for 47, while Meschede followed him soon after for 1 as the required rate leapt above ten – a hefty requirement given the low-scoring nature of the match.
Wallace kept soldiering on, mustering 37 from 41 balls, but his dismissal to Yasir Arafat sparked three wickets in nine balls – Wood taking his third and fourth wickets in consecutive balls in the process – to limit Rudolph and co. to 127 for eight, defeated by 21 runs.