Alleyne's swing band call the tune in tense duel

Hampshire 154 Gloucestershire 157-7 Gloucestershire win by 3 wkts

It should have been so straightforward. Hampshire skittled for next to nothing, Gloucestershire, the kings of the one-day jungle, roaring to a one-sided victory and revenge for the hammering they received against the same side in the same place in a National League last weekend.

Instead a disappointingly small crowd was dragged to the edge of their seats as Hampshire made a serious fist of defending a seemingly inadequate total before Gloucestershire, the holders, made it. They had overs to spare and bundles of shredded nerves.

A week ago, Shane Warne had just landed after flying in from Zimbabwe, but he still turned up the following day, won the toss, took four wickets, had a hand in a run-out and scored 48.

Yesterday the Australian leg-spinner and Hampshire captain was at it again. This time, though, he did not get everything his own way. True, he won the toss but he missed out on runs and Craig Spearman, Gloucestershire's New Zealand batsman, thumped a bruising fifty - including 22 runs off one James Hamblin over, which also included five wides - to get his team's chase off to a great start.

But then things went somewhat awry. Alan Mullally bowled Spearman, and had Alex Gidman lbw. Warne took care of Matt Windows, also lbw, and struck again not long after to have theopener Philip Weston, followed by Chris Taylor, leg before each time - on both occasions the batsmen were sweeping.

When Mullally had Mark Alleyne snapped up in the slips with Gloucestershire a tantalising 23 runs away from victory, it began to look bleak for the home side. Just before Alleyne's departure the Gloucestershire one-day captain had been involved in an accidental collision with the fiery Warne. The latter seemed to have hurt his right elbow and play was held up while he let Alleyne know what he thought. Stephen Adshead became Warne's fourth victim with 18 wanted.

Thankfully Shoaib Malik, with 32 not out, was equal to the task and he shepherded Lewis through choppy waters to victory and a place in the fourth round. Yet no one would have predicted this tight finish.

Warne, having won the toss, saw Jon Lewis tempt Derek Kenway into an extravagant shot and Alex Gidman snapped up the catch at second slip. Warne then arrived at the crease, edged his first ball to the keeper and departed, although he did not appear to go quietly, spending the first few yards responding to remarks made by the triumphal Gloucestershire fielders.

However peeved he might have felt about the way it was going, Warne had cause for further angst just a couple of balls later when Shabbir Ahmed, the Pakistani pace bowler, had Hamblin caught behind. At that point Hampshire were 4 for 3.

Warne's decision to bat had not been unreasonable at the time, because then there was no significant cloud cover, but by the time they came out the atmosphere had changed and Hampshire hearts must have been as heavy as the skies.

The swing band of Lewis, Shabbir and Mike Smith had the hapless batsmen groping and grasping as they repeatedly beat the bat.

Smith accounted for the Australian Michael Dighton, while Lewis put paid to John Crawley and Will Kendall.

Smith then had Nic Pothas caught behind and when Shaun Udal departed, caught in the deep off Alleyne, it looked all over for Hampshire at 91 for 8.

But Dimitri Mascarenhas fashioned a tail out of the tattered remnants of the Hampshire innings. He reached a deserved half-century, sharing in a 60-run stand with Chris Tremlett for the ninth wicket, before he was last man out.

Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee