Royals power to victory over the Spitfires
The Hampshire Royals strengthened their chances of securing a place in the Friends Life t20 quarter finals thanks to a 69 run victory over the Kent Spitfires at the Rose Bowl.
Faced with a run chase of 142 the Spitfires were blown away in style after they collapsed to a total of just 72 after Charl Langeveldt (7) was trapped LBW by Imran Tahir (12-2) at the end of the 14th over.
The defending champions recovered from just 35-3 after part time spinner Martin van Jaarsveld (20-3) took advantage of the turning wicket to restrict the Royals during the power play overs.
Despite the early setback the Royals fought back thanks to vital contributions from Neil McKenzie (48) and James Vince (22) who helped the Royals record a total of 141-6.
The Spitfires reply never really got going after their top order was blown away by Dimitri Mascarenhas (29-3) and Dominic Cork (7-1) who struck inside the opening three overs to leave the visitors 2-3.
The Spitfires never really recovered from the early loses and with van Jaarsveld not batting because of a hand injury the visitors hopes were all but ended when Wahab Riaz (11) and Darren Stevens (20) were dismissed at the end of the power play overs.
Sam Northeast (3) quickly followed before Shahid Afridi (13-1) and Imran Tahir cleared up the tail with little fuss to complete a dramatic victory with over five overs remaining.
Having won just eight group games on the way to winning last year’s tournament the Royals equalled that total with five more games still to play as the defending champions all but booked a place in the quarter finals with victory tonight.