Vince smacks up a storm

Hampshire piled on the runs to set a new total record for the fledgling NatWest T20 Blast season as they beat Middlesex by 47 runs at Merchant Taylors’ School Ground, Northwood.

In-form skipper James Vince spearheaded Hampshire’s impressive effort with the bat as they ended on 198 for two, one run ahead of Leicestershire’s score against Derbyshire on the opening night, to blow Middlesex away.

The 23-year-old added to his rising stock with a blistering 68, which included 10 fours and two sixes, from 38 balls.

Middlesex, who no doubt regretted their decision to field first, made a brave attempt at chasing the runs they needed with opener Paul Stirling cracking a swift 40.

Their defiance eventually wilted and they fell to a fourth successive T20 defeat as Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs took 3-20.

Vince combined with Jimmy Adams to fire Hampshire to an impressive 99 without loss after nine overs.

Man-of-the-moment Vince hit four back-to-back boundaries off Steven Finn, who leaked 0-51 in three overs, early on to set the tone for the partnership as both men piled on the runs.

Ravi Patel stepped in to break up the party, with Adams stumped for 38 in the 10th over before Vince became his second victim soon after.

The right-hander was caught by James Harris in the deep to leave Hampshire on a very healthy 119 for two.

Owais Shah kept the pace going with an unbeaten 49, while Adam Wheater added 30, as Finn and co were unable to make any further progress.

The hosts made a solid start but three wickets in three overs all-but ended their hopes just before the halfway stage of their innings, leaving them on 69 for three.

Stirling, Dawid Malan and Australia all-rounder Daniel Christian all fell during that devastating period which saw Briggs claim the dangerous Malan’s wicket with his first ball of the day.

Briggs came back for more shortly after as Neil Dexter showed him the stumps and he took full advantage, before Adam Rossington was also bowled by Will Smith.

With Middlesex now having no choice but to open up at every opportunity more wickets fell to Hampshire’s ruthless attack.

John Simpson was caught off Briggs while Ollie Rayner and Harris were also unable to make significant headway.

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