When Hampshire defeated Nottinghamshire by five-wickets in the quarter finals of the Natwest T20 Blast tournament at Trent Bridge, they became the first county side to make it through to five successive finals days of the English T20 competition.
Their place on finals day at Edgbaston on Saturday is thanks in no small measure to their young captain, the 23 year old James Vince. Promoted to the captaincy despite his tender years, for this season’s competition, he made his career best T20 score of 93 not out, to help his side to overhaul Nottingham’s imposing 198.
It was the third highest successful run-chase in the competition this season.
They now face Lancashire in the semi-final on Saturday, knowing that they are coming face to face with this season’s form T20 side.
The Red Rose county won 10 of their 14 qualifying group matches, with another two fixtures being rained off. Not that Hampshire were any slouches, winning nine games and losing the other five in the South Group.
In the quarter finals, Lancashire were pushed all the way, before they squeezed past Glamorgan by just one run at Old Trafford.
Their record on their previous appearance on finals day, doesn’t however, inspire a great deal of confidence for the forthcoming clash. They were beaten by Somerset in the final in 2005, and on their other three trips to the finals, they have parted the tournament at the semi-final stage, in 2004, 2007 and 2011.
Hampshire’s visits to finals day over the past four years, have produced two victories, while on the other two occasions, they also fell at the semi-final stage.
The winners will face the winners of the earlier semi-final, which will be played between the “home” team Birmingham (Warwickshire) Bears and Surrey who finished second in the South qualifying group.