Hampshire 146 for 3 beat Somerset 145 for 7 by seven wickets
Hampshire began the defence of their Friends Life t20 title with a convincing seven-wicket victory over last season's beaten finalists Somerset at the Rose Bowl. Michael Lumb's half-century, in pursuit of a 145 for 7, ensured the Royals overcame the absence of star signing Shahid Afridi to win the tournament-opener with nine balls to spare.
England World Twenty20 winner Lumb set the pace for the successful chase with 53 from 33 balls at the top of the order after returning all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas took 3 for 19. Hampshire had been dealt a blow on the eve of the match when they confirmed they would be without the big-hitting talents of Afridi due to his ongoing dispute with the Pakistan Cricket Board.
The hosts also began the game on minus two points after they were fined for the state of their pitch in the corresponding fixture last season. The Royals took control of the game almost from the beginning, though, after Mascarenhas, recently returned after a long stint out with an Achilles injury, struck three times inside the first six overs.
The 33-year-old claimed the crucial wicket of Somerset skipper Marcus Trescothick with just his third delivery as Neil McKenzie claimed a spectacular chance at the second attempt at slip. Roelof van der Merwe and James Hildreth also quickly followed to the former England man to leave Somerset in early trouble on 37 for 3.
But opener Peter Trego assumed control in a 63-run stand with Nick Compton to form the basis of Somerset's innings. Trego thrashed three sixes and four fours in his 55 from 37 balls before he was well caught by James Vince in the deep off veteran Dominic Cork.
Compton remained to add 37 from 39 balls, before he was Cork's second victim, as Somerset set what looked a competitive total until Lumb's fireworks.
The left-hander took the lead role in a 90-run stand for the first wicket with Jimmy Adams blasting three sixes and six fours. By the time he was caught on the boundary by Arul Suppiah off Trego the hosts were well in advance of the required rate.
Adams' dismissal soon after, for 39 off 33 balls, offered Somerset the merest of incentive which was quickly extinguished by a sensible stand between Vince and McKenzie. The pair needed only operate at a run-a-ball and they took few risks before Vince (31) was bowled by Trego with just a run needed.