T20 Blast quarter-finals: James Vince calls the shots as Hampshire seal Finals Day place


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The Independent Online

Hampshire cruised past – in T20 Blast terms – their quarter-final target set by Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge to seal a spot at Finals Day at Edgbaston on 23 August where they will face Lancashire. Surrey take on the Birmingham Bears.

The Hampshire captain James Vince led the way with a brilliant unbeaten 93 off 51 balls, with 11 fours and four sixes, to help his side to a five-wicket victory over the Outlaws, whose imposing total of 197 for 2 was overhauled with an over to spare.

Vince was ably supported by Michael Carberry who hit 31 from 21 balls and all-rounder Sean Ervine who smashed 39 off 24 deliveries, but it was Vince, who has been widely tipped to win England honours at some point in his career, who shone brightest. He has had a fine County Championship season, too, passing 1,000 runs and averaging nearly 65, albeit in the Second Division.

Notts were unlucky to lose after setting a decent total themselves, with Samit Patel (53 not out from 24 balls), Alex Hales (51 from 45) and Riki Wessels (62 from 41) all recording half-centuries.

Will Smith was the pick of the Hampshire bowlers, conceding just 24 runs from his four overs, against his former county.

Vince's knock ensured Hampshire reached their fifth consecutive Finals Day and the 2010 and 2012 winners will come up against Lancashire, who sealed their place in the last four with a one-run victory over Glamorgan in a match that went to the wire at Emirates Old Trafford on Saturday.

In the other semi-final, the Birmingham Bears will be hoping to make home advantage count against last year's runners-up Surrey. The Bears defeated Essex by 19 runs at Chelmsford on Saturday, while Surrey claimed a three-wicket victory over Worcestershire at the Kia Oval.