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|RE Van Der Merwe||31||13||6||0||238.46|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||30||0||7.50|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|RE Van Der Merwe||4.0||0||54||0||13.50|
It is surprising that the South Group favorites, Hampshire, are languishing at the second spot from the bottom of the points table. Although it's a long tournament and Hampshire still have plenty of matches to go, the chances for their qualification are rather bleak. They'll be facing Somerset in an away game on 1st August in a bid to bounce back into the tournament.
Somerset are placed third on the points table with eight points in seven games. They are just one win shy of topping the table, provided the other results go their way. Just like the whole tournament, they've had a mixed last week with two wins and two losses including a win in the county championship game.
Their last game was against Middlesex where they stunned the men in pink by scoring 229 runs in the first innings. At one point, they were reduced to 29 for 3 and the possibility of scoring 150 looked remote. Despite losing early wickets, the mammoth score was made possible because of the electrifying half-centuries from Lewis Gregory and Peter Trego. The 41-run cameo from Corey Anderson, who scored an unbeaten 41, provided excellent support as Gregory launched a late assault on Middlesex bowlers.
It was imperative for Middlesex to start well if they wanted to have any chance of overhauling Somerset's score. However, Max Waller began with a wicket-maiden, denting Middlesex's hopes to win the match. Bowlers continued to chip away with the wickets at they reduced Middlesex to 88 for 4 in 10 overs when rain interrupted. With a revised target of 213 and 125 required off last eight overs, the game looked all-over for Middlesex upon resumption. Skipper Lewis Gregory was adjudged man of the match for his all-around performance. He picked up 4 wickets for 28 to complement his 26-ball 62 runs knock in the first innings.
SM Davies, JG Myburgh, PD Trego, JC Hildreth, TB Abell, Corey Anderson, Lewis Gregory, RE Van Der Merwe, Jerome Taylor, Jamie Overton, MTC Waller.
Hampshire shares the bottom of the table with two other teams, all stranded with four points. A win in the next match, however, could take them to the sixth spot provided that the other results go in their favor. Hampshire's last match was a washout as rain played spoilsport, but they got an important point out of that game. Prior to that, they lost to Middlesex as they failed to chase a relatively easy target of 165.
Hampshire suffered one of the most epic collapses in the history of the game as they somehow managed to throw away their strong start and lost their last nine wickets for just 54 runs. Earlier with the ball, their spinners and Fidel Edwards bowled accurately as they restricted the hosts to just 165 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
Although Hampshire lost James Vince in the first over of their innings, the chase never looked off-track, especially after Colin Munro's 58 off just 29 deliveries. He stitched an impressive partnership with Sam Northeast as the duo took the Hampshire's total to 89 before Sam Northeast was stumped while trying to hit Ashton Agar out of the park. Agar then picked Colin Munro and Rilee Rossouw in successive deliveries which brought Middlesex back in the game. Hampshire's wobble then turned into an epic collapse as Tom Alsop and Chris Wood departed on consecutive deliveries leaving Hampshire tottering at 132 for 8 with 34 still to get off 19 deliveries. They eventually lost the match by 22 runs which they should have won quite comfortably considering that they well ahead for the most part of the game.
J Vince, Colin Munro, Sam Northeast, RR Rossouw, Tom Alsop, LA Dawson, Joe Weatherley, CP Wood, RA Stevenson, FH Edwards, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Hampshire's late collapse in their last match highlighted their over-dependence on the top-four of their batting lineup. On the other hand, Somerset's late order produced one of the best fightbacks in the tournament so far. Considering the way things have panned out in the tournament and the form of the two sides, Somerset are better placed to topple Hampshire in this upcoming fixture.
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