Report & Reaction: Hampshire Hawks v Sussex Sharks, Vitality Blast

Read the match report & hear reaction from Hampshire Hawks' Vitality Blast match against Sussex Sharks at Utilita Bowl

Nathan McAndrew was electric with the bat and miserly with the ball as Sussex Sharks went second in the Vitality Blast South Group with a seven-run victory over Hampshire Hawks.

Australian all-rounder McAndrew hammered 32 off 11 balls to boost an underwhelming score, with the help of Tom Alsop’s 43 off 27.

James Vince bagged his fifth 50-plus score in his last six T20 innings against Sussex and Joe Weatherley picked up 68 not out.

But McAndrew returned one for 21 – spoiled only by a penultimate ball no ball – before Danny Lamb defended 25 off the last over to give the Sharks a first Utilita Bowl win since 2020 and pull out a six-point buffer on Hampshire.

The Sharks were stuck in and despite losing three wickets in the powerplay – all to a rampant Michael Neser – but found regular contributors to reach a sizeable total.

Neser – on his last Hawks appearance before Ottneil Baartman replaces him for the second half of the competition – had Harrison Ward skying straight up, Daniel Hughes bowled with a beauty which nipped back and John Simpson chipping to cover. The Australian returning three for 32.

Fynn Hudson-Prentice forced wicketkeeper Ben McDermott to scramble under a high one and James Coles – who had held firm for 39 – was brilliantly caught by a sprawling Benny Howell at long off.

At 73 for five at the halfway point, Sussex looked in danger but Hampshire old boy Tom Alsop and Danny Lamb settled things down with a 57-run stand.

Lamb scooped a six but was otherwise jerky in his 28, but Alsop crescendoed through his innings, going from a sensible run-a-ball to a rampant 43 off 27 before he chipped to his former captain Vince at mid-off.

If Alsop had been controlled for most his innings, McAndrew was unrestrained in his ball-striking from the moment his second ball disappeared into the square leg crowd.

Two more sixes sailed into the stands in his 32 off 11, and although he was dropped – a bizarre moment where Ollie Robinson was subsequently run out – his late innings blasting got Sussex to a defendable position.

With 185 to win, Hampshire didn’t attack the challenge with gusto as McDermott and Fletcha Middleton fell in a flaccid 38 for two powerplay.

A couple of 30s had been the high points of Vince’s Blast campaign but he grew through his innings and found the perfect rotating-the-strike partner in Joe Weatherley – the due adding 88 for the third wicket.

There were glimpses of peak Vince with a glorious cover drive as his 71st T20 fifty came up in 35 balls.

But he never managed to explode to the required rate and departed for 53 when he rolled the ball back onto his own stumps.

Weatherley converted to a half-century – having scored 48 and 49 earlier in the tournament – but his 68 off 47 was too ultimately slow for the rate.

Benny Howell swatted two early sixes but faded, and although Weatherley sweetly struck the first four balls of the final over for four, Hampshire ended up seven runs short.

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