AFTER a fifth Edgbaston semi-final defeat in seven years, the good news for Hampshire is that Finals Day will have a change of venue in 2019.

The general consensus was that Edgbaston’s sixth Finals Day was the best yet, helped by the weather, a capacity 25,000-plus crowd and, for most of the day, some compelling cricket.

But Hampshire will be relieved that county cricket’s biggest occasion will be at Trent Bridge the year after next.

Maybe then they will finally get beyond the penultimate base again. The last-four hurdle has proved insurmountable for too long. When James Vince scored his match-winning 66 not out in the 2010 quarter-final against the T20 side formerly known as Warwickshire, who would have thought Hampshire would lose five semi-finals on the same ground in the next seven years.

If you include the 40-over defeat against Glamorgan in 2013, Hampshire have now lost five successive semi-finals since winning their second T20 title in three years in 2012.

That was the year Hampshire completed the limited-overs double, a feat no county had achieved since until Nottinghamshire Outlaws won Saturday night’s final against the Birmingham Bears.

It would be wrong to label Hampshire as ‘chokers’, the tag usually given to habitual semi-finalists.

Reaching Finals Day for the seventh time in eight seasons has been a fine achievement given last year’s aberration, when only Somerset won fewer games in the entire tournament.

For most of Saturday’s semi-final against the tournament favourites, they were the side in control.

Even after losing Shahid Afridi to the first ball after conceding 169-7, they recovered well enough to lay a platform from which they should have won the game.

That they decided to chase was a little surprising, given that most of their wins up until Finals Day had come after batting first.

“It was tough to know what to do first but Notts have chased pretty much throughout the tournament so it was as much as anything to change their routine,” explained Vince.

Even so, you got the feeling Hampshire would have been better off going with the routine that had got them this far.

Hampshire won their first three matches of this season’s competition after losing the toss and batting first, which is also what happened in the quarter-final against Derbyshire, when they massed their record 249-8.

But they did well to restrict Nottinghamshire to 169-7 and Vince batted with belief in the knowledge his side had chased down 167 with 16 balls to spare at Kent a few weeks earlier. Mason Crane and Shahid Afridi were outstanding, conceding only 44 runs between them from their combined eight overs, while taking the big wickets of Riki Wessels and Brendan Taylor, who would hit a 49-ball 65 in the final.

Dawson, who took the big wickets of Samit Patel and Steven Mullaney in successive overs, completed a good 12 overs from the spinners.

But Hampshire’s T20 side is still one very much in transition.

The decision to stick with the team that beat Derbyshire and leave out Sean Ervine meant Vince is now Hampshire’s only Finals Day ever-present.

With Michael Carberry surely playing his last game for Hampshire and Ervine no longer an automatic selection, this felt like a changing of the guard.

Three of Saturday’s team – Calvin Dickinson, Tom Alsop and Mason Crane - were academy products playing at Finals Day for the first time.

They will have learned a great deal from the experience.

Crane and Dawson have effectively replaced Danny Briggs - who played in Hampshire’s previous eight Finals Day matches before moving to Sussex nearly two years ago.

Dickinson did very well to help Hampshire recover during the powerplay following Afridi’s howler, and Alsop also contributed after becoming the latest batsman to try and fill the void left by Neil McKenzie at number four.

It was Hampshire’s overseas batsmen who proved the weak links.

After seeing Afridi heave a long hop to deep mid-wicket, George Bailey paid the price for playing across the line.

Carberry’s glorious straight six against Patel raised hopes but he was soon run out by the same player, an unthinkable occurrence a few years ago.

That dismissal completed Hampshire’s collapse from 97-2 midway through the 11th over to 120-6 25 balls later.

Ervine’s omission was understandable given his record of 65 runs at 10.8 and a sub-100 strike rate during the group stage.

But his Finals Day record of 194 runs at 38.8 (strike rate 139.57) made him conspicuous by his absence as Hampshire folded.

Much credit is due to Mullaney, who changed the game with three big wickets in as many overs, and Harry Gurney, whose slower balls were rewarded with three wickets in four deliveries.

Unfortunately Kyle Abbott did not show the same nous, conceding three sixes in four balls to Notts captain Dan Christian when he returned to bowl the 17th.

Chris Wood may have proved a better bet after evoking memories of his 2012 heroics during the powerplay. But it is easy to say that in hindsight.

At least Hampshire have Vince, the third highest run scorer in this season's Blast behind Joe Denly and Notts Rikki Wessels, with 542 at 38.7 (SR 158).

He has overtaken Carberry as the county’s leading T20 run scorer (3,182) by scoring four half-centuries in some style in his last five matches.

Now a global T20 star, he will be playing for the Cape Town Knight Riders in the new South Africa franchise league in November, alongside Dale Steyn, Tom Curran and Adil Rashid, before returning to Australia for his second Big Bash.