Hampshire reached the Metro Bank One Day Cup final with a ruthlessly efficient performance. Brilliant bowling spells by Liam Dawson (7-15) and Keith Barker (3-28) dismissed a woeful Warwickshire side for just 93.
Chasing such a low total, the main threat to Hampshire was the forecast rain; but the availability of a reserve day if needed diminished even that possibility. They cruised to 95-1 with very few alarms. Fletcha Middleton led the way with 54 not out. A match scheduled to last 100 overs occupied just 45 and was done and dusted before 2.25 pm.
The tale of disaster began early for Warwickshire. They lost the toss and were put into bat under overcast conditions. The pitch, played on four times before in The Hundred, offered more than a little help to bowlers and ex-Bear Keith Barker soon had Rob Yates dropped at slip. Then he saw the young left hander play an ugly shot to sky a catch to Brad Wheal – out for nought and lucky to get that far.
Will Rhodes and the recently prolific Ed Barnard shaped pretty well but by the ninth over, they had both been caught behind off Barker. His spell of seven overs produced three wickets for 28 runs. There was a bit of movement in the air and off the pitch; but in the main, it was just Barker doing what he always does so well. And if that looked good for Hampshire, Liam Dawson was to provide even better.
The three Bs – Burgess, Ethan Brookes and Jacob Bethell – all fell to the left arm spinner. Brookes drove in the air to short extra cover and the other two were bowled. They were nicely flighted, good length deliveries that spun just enough.
Ethan Brookes was sixth out at 91; and he was just the first of five wickets that Dawson took in ten deliveries without conceding a run. Jake Lintott top edged a sweep, Danny Briggs was lbw and Henry Brookes edged behind.
Could Olly Hannon-Dalby heroically support Sam Hain in a redeeming last wicket partnership? Well, no! Dawson bowled him for 0. Hain was left with his wicket and his dignity intact, which is more than could be said for his ten team-mates.
Liam Dawson may have bowled just as well on many past occasions in his 16 year career; but today was his day. 6.5 overs, seven wickets for just 15 runs. These were not just his career best figures but the best ever list A figures for Hampshire.
And so Hampshire head to Trent Bridge for the Metro Bank Cup Final in mid-September and Warwickshire are left with the tail end of the County Championship to deal with.