Rossouw's onslaught means quarter final at Worcester
17 August 2018
Gloucestershire will play Worcestershire in the quarter finals of the Vitality T20 Blast at New Road on August 25th (3.00pm) after their final South Group match against Hampshire ended with a six wicket defeat at the Ageas Bowl.
Put into bat after losing the toss, Gloucestershire scored only 29 runs in the powerplay and struggled to get the rate much above a run a ball until Ryan Higgins bolstered the total with a rapid 31 out of 50 runs added in the last five overs.
Michael Klinger's 43, made from 46 balls, glued the innings together as he had done against Sussex 24 hours earlier but again the Gloucestershire total - on this occasion 144-8 - was blitzed by one batsman at the start of the chase.
On this occasion, it was Hampshire's South African left hander Rilee Rossouw, who struck eight fours and a six in 21 balls before he was bowled by Benny Howell in the sixth over. He had made 42 out of 62, and it gave Sam Northeast and James Vince the time to build a low risk partnership that took the home side to the brink of victory.
Results elsewhere - with wins for Kent and Sussex - meant Gloucestershire finished fourth in the South Group table, pairing them with North Group winners Worcestershire in the last eight.
Following hot on the heels of the game against Sussex at the Brightside Ground, head coach Richard Dawson took 14 players to Southampton, but in the end opted for an unchanged team.
Hampshire had won only one previous game in the competition, but they showed determination to finish on a positive note, especially with two fine early catches by Dickinson and Northeast which accounted for Hammond (11) and Cockbain (3).
Playing the 100th T20 match of his career against his former county, Benny Howell added 46 in six overs with Klinger, cleanly striking spinner Dawson and seamer Stevenson for six. 61-2 at half distance represented a gear change from the start, only for Howell (26) to find Dickinson at deep mid wicket and Gloucestershre's case wasn't helped by losing Kieran Noema-Barnett to a muscular injury which forced him to retire hurt.
The imputus was only regained through Higgins' late injection of energy to the scorecard, hitting Dale Steyn for six to mid wicket as well as down the ground before becoming the third of four victims to the economical Chris Wood in the final over.
Apart from the shots which cleared the rope, a tally of only three fours appeared to indicate 145 would not be an easy chase, although Rossouw single handedly blew that idea out of the water to swing the game decisively Hampshire's way.
He was nearly run out by substitute fielder Chris Dent when he had made only 10, but scoring heavily on the leg side he destructively attacked Payne, Tye and Higgins who between them conceded 47 runs in three overs. It was a big chunk of a modest target.
Dickinson had been bowled in Payne's first over, so Rossouw's departure brought together the experienced pair of Sam Northeast and Hampshire skpper James Vince with 83 runs needed at less than a run a ball.
They methodically ticked the total beyond 100 in the 12th over, Vince eventually opening up with two boundaries off Jacob Lintott, who had made his T20 debut during time at Hampshire last season.
It looked like a stand that would see the home side to victory, but having added 66 together Northeast was caught behind off Payne for 37. Trying to finish things quickly, Dawson fell to Lintott and it was left to Vince (48*) to close out the match with more than three overs in hand.