Royals seal Twenty20 title at the Rose Bowl

Felix Austin | cricket20

Neil McKenzie and Sean Ervine steered the Hampshire Royals to a thrilling victory over the Somerset Sabres to claim the 2010 Friends Provident t20 title in front of their own fans at the Rose Bowl.

Despite the game ending in a tie the Royals claimed the title thanks to losing fewer wickets as the game came down to the final delivery of the tournament.

The triumph saw the Royals became the first team to claim domestic cricket’s biggest prize at their home ground thanks to a 79 run partnership by McKenzie (52) and Ervine (44).

The Sabres meanwhile will be left to look back on what could have been; having lost their second Twenty20 Final in a row.

With an imposing total of 174 to chase the Royals got off to a wonderful starts thanks to Abdul Razzaq who smashed 33 from just 19 balls. His quick fire innings included 6 fours and one six before he was dismissed by Peter Trego in the 5th over.

James Vince (0) quickly followed after he was run out having faced just one ball to leave the Royals 62-2 thanks to Razzaq’s lightning start.

Despite the loss of two quick wickets Jimmy Adams remained at the crease and alongside Neil McKenzie the pair looked to rebuild the Royals innings but when Adams (34) was bowled by Arul Suppiah at the start of the 9th over the Royals looked in trouble.

With danger man Adams back in the dug out the Sabres had an opportunity to take control of the game but they were unable to strike again which allowed McKenzie and Ervine to build a vital partnership.

The pair came together in the 9th over with the Royals still needed another 90 runs with only 66 balls remaining but the pair remained calm to steer the Royals to the verge of glory thanks to a wonderful half century from McKenzie.

With the game almost over the Sabres struck back though removing McKenzie and Michael Carberry (0) to silence the home crowd as the tension increased.

Although the game came down to the last over the Royals held on thanks to a leg bye from the final delivery of the game to seal a memorable victory.

Having won the toss the Sabres got off to another excellent start thanks to Marcus Trescothick, who, once again looked in tremendous form smashing 2 sixes before the opener through away his wicket.

Having already dispatched Abdul Razzaq for a six over mid on; Trescothick (19) tried to repeat the shot from the very next delivery but he could only pick out Daniel Christian at mid wicket much to the delight of the Royals players.

It was the perfect response by the Royals who had started the game poorly conceding 41 runs from just the first 4.3 overs thanks to Trescothick and Craig Kieswetter.

With Trescothick gone; Peter Trego came to crease and carried on where the ex England opener had left off; smashing 33 in a 56 run partnership with Kieswetter to put the Sabres in control.

Trego’s innings was ended by Sean Ervine who took a brilliant one handed catch out on the boundary to give the impressive Danny Briggs his first wicket of the evening.

Despite the lose of Trego; Kieswetter remained at the crease to complete a well deserved half century as the opener shock off his recent run of poor form to record a total of 71 before he was dismissed by Christian in the 17th over.

With James Hildreth (12) already back in the dugout Kieron Pollard came to the crease and underlined his credentials’ as one of the worlds best Twenty20 finishers.

The West Indies big hitter smashed 22 from just 7 balls to put the Sabres in control before he was forced to leave the pitch after a delivery from Dominic Cork went through his grill and struck him above the eye.

With Pollard forced to retire Arul Suppiah (0) came to the crease but he only lasted one delivery before Ben Phillips came to the crease to face the final delivery of the innings.
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