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Mascarenhas leads from the front as Hants reach t20 final
Dimi Mascarenhas produced the most miserly spell of his t20 career as he led his side into the Champions League for the first time.
Hampshire’s six-wicket win against Somerset at the Swalec Stadium means they will be involved in the Champions League qualifiers from October 9-11.- for the right to take on the best club sides in the world.
They booked their place in Saturday night’s Friends Life t20 final against Yorkshire with a more comfortable win than their previous FInals Day clashes against Somerset - the ties of 2010 and 2011.
It was not completely straightforward, but they got off to the best possible start.
All the bowlers did a fine job, fully justifying the decision to recall the fit-again Michael Carberry to fill the void left by Australia’s Glenn Maxwell.
The seamers were particulary impressive on a slow Cardiff wicket.
Sean Ervine (4-0-22-2) continued his impressive recent form, while Mascarenhas (4-0-11-2) and Chris Wood (4-0-25-0) shrugged off their recent injuries (back and groin respectively) as Somerset were restricted to just 125-6.
Everything went right for Mascarenhas from the moment he won the toss and asked Somerset to have a bat.
Only once has he conceded as few as 11 runs from a full t20 spell - a wicketless four overs against Surrey six years ago.
He dismissed Richard Levi with his first ball, caught by Simon Katich at mid-on, and after Marcus Trescothick had hit Liam Dawson for six over long-on he claimed the big scalp of the Somerset captain, who played on.
After a tight over from Dawson, Mascarenhas completed Somerset’s miserable six-over powerplay – just 29-2.
Danny Briggs (1-29) bowled James Hildreth round his legs with his first ball but was cover-driven for six by his close pal and World Twenty20 colleague Jos Buttler as Somerset attempted to find some momentum.
Only Craig Kieswetter managed it , batting throughout the innings for an unbeaten 63 from 58 balls (five fours, one six) as Somerset restored some pride.
But he soon lost Buttler, who played on in Ervine’s first over for a run-a-ball 16.
When Peter Trego was lbw trying to pull Ervine, Somerset were reeling on 58-5 at the end of the 13th over.
Ervine was comically upended as the pair collided following Trego’s dismissal, and Somerset deserved credit for hitting 67 from their last seven overs.
Kieswetter drove Dawson for a six that was last seen heading into the River Taff. He reached his 50 by driving Ervine for his third four and scooped another before Katich dropped a steepler on the run at mid-wicket.
Needing little more than a run-a-ball, Hampshire would avoided Somerset’s South Group win at the Rose Bowl in 2010, when they successfully defended 104-7, albeit on a terror track.
But they wobbled on the way to their target.
Carberry, playing his first t20 game for two months and his sixth day’s cricket in seven following knee surgery, struck three fours in the opening over from Alfonso Thomas.
But he soon lost Jimmy Adams (8), brilliantly caught by a diving Buttler at mid-wicket at the end of the fifth over.
Then James Vince (7) was bowled attempting to pull a Max Waller leg break that kept low.
Having hit an invaluable 33 from only 27 balls, Carberry was run out by Neil McKenzie, who had set off after dabbing the ball into the off side before sending his partner back.
Carberry was left with too much to do, wicketkeeper Kieswetter running him out at the bowler’s end.
McKenzie, the hero of the quarter-final win at Notts, helped Katich put on 20 in four overs before he was lbw to Lewis Gregory for ten as Hampshire slipped to 72-4.
No matter. Katich, an Ashes centurion at the Swalec three years ago, hit an unbeaten 32 (30 balls) in sharing 54 with Ervine (34 not out from 23 balls)to take Hampshire to their target with an over to spare.
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