Rose Bowl thriller ends in tie
Ryan McLaren took a sensational catch running in from the third-man boundary to ensure a last-ball tie in the Twenty20 Cup clash between Kent and Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.
Hampshire required 10 runs from the final over of the match from newcomer Morne Morkel and a single off the last ball to win.
But Greg Lamb, attempting to cut, could only top edge to McLaren who held the catch inches from the ground to ensure the points were shared.
Kent, winning the toss, mustered 153 for six and, with Lamb's sensational delivery, Hampshire could only equal it with seven down.
Kent were in trouble after a slow start and were struggling at 90 for five with only four overs remaining but then McLaren, Geraint Jones and Yasir Arafat plundered 63 against Sean Ervine, Billy Taylor and Chris Tremlett.
South African McLaren lifted Tremlett for a straight six to finish with an unbeaten 46 from 19 balls in a big-hitting innings which also included eight fours.
Earlier, captain Robert Key hit five fours in his 59 to set up the Kent acceleration.
Hampshire made a sluggish start, losing Michael Carberry, Michael Lumb and Australian newcomer Adam Voges with only 20 on the board.
But Chris Benham led a recovery with a 41-ball 45 and Dimitri Mascarenhas celebrated his first England call-up with a rapid 31 to follow his fine bowling performance of three for 17 in the Kent innings.
When Lamb and Nic Pothas came together, Hampshire required 43 from three overs and they nearly got it.
Pothas was dropped by McLaren off Morkel when he had made 11 at 130 but the pair stayed together to guide Hampshire within touching distance of an unlikely victory.
Simon Cook had earlier pulled Hampshire back by taking three for 30 from his four overs, including two in an over.
Cook dismissed Carberry to a slip catch with his first delivery and, later in the same over, had Voges - brought in from Western Australian for the competition - leg before for two.
But Hampshire fought back bravely even though they were without their rested captain Shane Warne.
McLaren completed an outstanding personal match with economical figures of one for 29, sending back the dangerous Mascarenhas to a catch on the long on boundary as Hampshire began the task of clawing back the deficit.