Hampshire prevail in thriller at The Rose Bowl
Hampshire 274 for 5 (McKenzie 87*, Barker 2-56) beat Warwickshire 271 for 9 (Clarke 59, Chopra 54, Jones 4-52) by three runs
Champions Warwickshire suffered defeat at the start of their Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign, narrowly beaten by three runs by Hampshire at the Rose Bowl. Chasing 275 for victory, Chris Woakes needed to hit the last ball of the match from Dominic Cork for four to win. But Woakes could only hit it back to the bowler and Hampshire had completed victory in a high-scoring match on a batsman-friendly wicket.
Ultimately Warwickshire were left to regret the final over of the Hampshire innings, in which Boyd Rankin conceded 24 to Neil McKenzie including a six and four fours. Hampshire, who lost the toss, went from 250 for 5 at the start of the last over to 274 for 5 with Rankin finishing with unflattering figures of 0 for 57 from seven overs.
South African McKenzie was Hampshire's top scorer with an undefeated 87 which included nine fours and a six. Johann Myburgh contributed a useful 64 at the top of the innings as Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton had cause to regret his decision to field first.
His doubts must have increased as Warwickshire slumped to 48 for 3 and then 89 for 4 in reply when Troughton was caught at slip for 25 in the 19th over. Varun Chopra began the Warwickshire revival, carrying on his outstanding form in the County Championship by making 54 before being run out by Cork.
Darren Maddy added a useful 49 before he too was run out by wicketkeeper Michael Bates and the target always looked just beyond the champions. They required 55 off the final five overs and 32 off the last three, but Rikki Clarke kept his side in the match with an aggressive 59 off 38 balls before being stumped.
Keeper Richard Johnson kept Woakes company as the England hopeful indulged in some big hitting. He struck three sixes in his unbeaten 34 off 21 balls but experienced former England pace bowler Simon Jones dismissed Johnson with the last ball of the 39th to set up the last-over thriller.
Woakes and Rankin needed 14 off the last over from Cork and the former raised hopes by drilling the penultimate ball for six, but the Hampshire captain kept his nerve and his team held on.