Ervine century sets up Hampshire win

Hampshire 273 for 3 beat Leicestershire 220 for 9 by 53 runs

A magnificent century from Sean Ervine helped Hampshire to a comprehensive 53-run win over Leicestershire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 at the Rose Bowl.

The Zimbabwean reached the landmark off 94 balls before going on to record a total of 136 as his side amassed 273 for 3 from their 40 overs. Leicestershire were unable to get anywhere near in their reply, with rising star Danny Briggs taking three wickets, despite a smart 72 from England Lions captain James Taylor.

Hampshire got off to an average start, with James Vince falling to Alex Wyatt for just 4 to leave the hosts 21 for 1 in the fourth over. Fellow opener Jimmy Adams and Ervine then combined well, matching some clean hitting with intelligent running to advance Hampshire to 80, before Adams (38) became the second wicket to fall, caught at point by Taylor off Wyatt.

That brought the experienced Neil McKenzie to the crease, who belied his reputation as a patient accumulator by blasting a quickfire unbeaten 72 from just 68 balls, containing seven boundaries.

At the other end, Ervine - whose partnership with McKenzie had reached a mammoth 163 runs - advanced quickly to his hundred, surviving two dropped catches before finally falling to Wayne White for 136 off just 106 balls, blasting 14 fours and three sixes in his impressive innings, to leave Hampshire 243 for 3 in the 36th over.

Liam Dawson was the next man in, and he and McKenzie carried the home side to an intimidating 273 off their allotted 40 overs.

Leicestershire's reply got off to a sluggish start, with opener Josh Cobb bowled by Chris Wood for just eight. Will Jefferson was next to go just an over later, run out for four thanks to a direct hit from Adams to leave the Foxes 19 for 2.

Leicestershire already looked incapable of keeping up with the run-rate, and found themselves three wickets down when Jacques du Toit (24) was dismissed thanks to a stunning catch in the deep from Dawson off the bowling of Dimitri Mascarenhas.

That brought England hopeful Taylor and veteran wicketkeeper Paul Nixon together, and the pair combined to drag the visitors back into the tie, combining in a partnership of 108, until Taylor (72) and Nixon both fell in quick succession to reduce the visitors to 172 for 5, and still 102 runs short with just eight overs remaining.

The Leicester tail gallantly swung for the boundary, but spin twins Briggs and Imran Tahir combined to snatch three late wickets between them, before Wood knocked over Nathan Buck to leave Leicestershire on 200 for 9. Hampshire then strangled the game totally, eventually easing home to a comfortable victory.