Somerset 245 for 4 (Banton 69, Hildreth 69*) beat Hampshire 244 for 8 (Northeast 56, Fuller 55*, J Overton 3-48) by six wickets
The last domestic one-day final at Lord's may have been left in the shadow by World Cup schedulers, but Somerset produced an all-round display worthy of the ground and the occasion to lift their first piece of silverware in more than a decade. Hampshire, deprived of key players, rarely looked like being able to defend the trophy they claimed on the back of a powerful batting display last year. They won the toss this time but little else.
Somerset have an unwanted reputation as perennial runners-up but it did not take long for the tractor beam to lock on, as Tom Banton, the dashing young opener who may have interested the watching Ed Smith, set them on their way with 69 from 67 balls. Eventually it fell to a county stalwart in James Hildreth to see them across the line with an unbeaten half-century. It was Hildreth who hit the winning runs when Somerset won the Twenty20 Cup in 2005 (aged 20, just as Banton is now) and there may well be considerable quantities of cider consumed in honour of both.
"We're absolutely desperate to win, I'm not going to lie," Somerset's captain, Tom Abell, said afterwards. "I guess it does break the shackles a little bit. Now hopefully people will be talking about us as winners, as opposed to runners-up."
Even as England played Australia in a World Cup warm-up match on Hampshire's home ground, some 15,700 people revelled in the atmosphere at Lord's. Good weather, good cricket and room for the county game to catch the eye - it is not a complicated formula.
"Somerset, la-la-Lord's!" proclaimed the t-shirt of one west country supporter, and the chants were quick to start up. Banton met some indifferent bowling from Fidel Edwards with a flurry of early boundaries and although the West Indian did eventually dismiss both openers in consecutive overs, the fact Somerset had more than 100 on the board told the story of Hampshire's efforts to undermine the chase.
Banton glittered in the afternoon sunshine, confirming some of the pre-match hype on what used to be the county game's biggest stage. He is already on England's radar, having won Under-19s recognition, and could come into ODI consideration sooner rather than later. Whether performances in the 50-over final from next season, when the competition will understudy The Hundred, count for as much with the selectors remains to be seen.
The first of Banton's ten boundaries came via a glance to fine leg, but it was in Edwards' second over that his star quality shone through. A flamingo-style flick, more than worthy of KP comparisons, was followed by an effortless checked pull off his hip that cleared deep square leg for six; the next ball also disappeared for four through midwicket as Somerset hit their stride.
With Azhar Ali ticking along at the other end, Hampshire's small window in which to make life uncomfortable for Somerset was rapidly closing. Banton reverse-swept Mason Crane's legspin, then drove another boundary before following up with an orthodox sweep for four more, as Somerset's hundred came up in the 17th over. Edwards mustered a response but it was too late for Hampshire, as Hildreth saw them home and the renditions of "Blackbird" could begin.
With James Vince and Liam Dawson, two of Hampshire's key players as they topped the South Group, unavailable thanks to late call-ups by England (and Aiden Markram an expected absentee with South Africa), responsibility fell largely on the shoulders of Sam Northeast, the stand-in captain, and Rilee Rossouw, who was Man of the Match for his hundred a year ago. Northeast made a battling half-century but it was left to a late salvo from James Fuller, who struck the only sixes of the Hampshire innings in a ninth-wicket stand of 64, to give them something to bowl at.
At around the time Hampshire lost their fourth wicket, Dawson was just coming on for his first bowl in England's match at the Ageas Bowl. How Hampshire fans would have preferred to see him walking out to the middle at Lord's. Instead it was Gareth Berg, with a List A highest score of 75, who joined Northeast.
Boundaries were at a premium as Somerset's bowlers bustled about their business - given the scoring rate, this could almost have been a final from 2001, when Somerset last won a 50-over trophy at Lord's. Jamie Overton broke a 49-run stand when Berg picked out deep backward square for the second of his three wickets and Hampshire's hopes of setting an imposing target seemingly departed with Northeast as he hacked across line, patience exhausted, to be bowled by his Somerset counterpart Abell for 56.
Abell had only delivered one over in the format previously but claimed his maiden List A wickets, while there was a brace for Josh Davey, reward for a tight spell with the new ball. Perhaps hoping to follow the template of their victory over Kent last year, Hampshire chose to bat beneath low-slung cloud on a humid morning at Lord's but, while not exactly a green nibbler in September, there was enough in the surface for Somerset's battery of right-arm medium bowlers to take advantage of.
At 50 for 3, Rossouw fired off a retaliatory volley, introducing himself to Lewis Gregory with a brusque force through the covers and then a swat over mid-on for four more. But having barrelled to 28 off 17 balls, he fell to the extra pace of Jamie Overton, cramped into edging a back-foot drive on to his stumps. Somerset had come to Lord's with their "gurt big stick" and would not be denied.