|Royal London One-Day Cup final, Lord’s|
|Hampshire 330-7 (50 overs): Rossouw 125, Northeast 75*, Alsop 72; Denly 4-57|
|Kent 269 (47.1 overs): Bell-Drummond 86, Billings 75|
|Hampshire beat Kent by 61 runs|
Hampshire posted the biggest-ever total in a final at Lord’s as they beat Kent by 61 runs to win the One-Day Cup.
It was the county’s first victory at headquarters since 2012, with Rilee Rossouw’s 125 helping them amass 330-7.
Former Kent captain Sam Northeast also made an unbeaten 75, while Joe Denly claimed 4-57 with the ball.
Kent could never keep pace in reply despite 86 from Daniel Bell-Drummond and 75 from skipper Sam Billings as they were bowled out for 269.
On a gloriously sun-kissed day in London, a crowd of just under 21,000 were treated to some fine individual performances as Hampshire took the first domestic honours of the season.
Hampshire’s record total ultimately proved more than enough to give James Vince’s side victory and avenge their narrow one-run defeat by Kent in the group stages.
It was also their seventh success in a one-day final at Lord’s.
Hampshire plunder runs under Lord’s sun
Runs have been flowing in both domestic and international 50-over cricket so far this summer and the pattern of bat dominating ball followed even after Hampshire were put in by Kent captain Billings.
Such was the extent of Hampshire’s free-scoring, thanks to an opening stand worth 136 between Rossouw and Tom Alsop (72 off 75 balls), that a total approaching 400 looked on the cards at one stage.
Rossouw, who clubbed nine fours and three sixes in his 114-ball 125, also looked on course to surpass Alex Hales’ record-breaking 187 not out in last year’s final for Nottinghamshire.
His most destructive shot of the day was without doubt a six over long-on, which landed in the top tier of the Warner Stand.
But the South African’s dismissal on 270-3 in the 42nd over wrestled things back in Kent’s favour. Denly’s part-time leg spin restricted Hampshire to just 68 runs in the last 10 overs.
Kent’s big-hitters fail to come off
While the Spitfires may have fancied chasing 331 in 50 overs, such is the tempo of the modern 50-over game, it would have needed a record successful run-chase in a Lord’s final to reach that total.
They went off at a decent pace inside the opening powerplay, but when the competition’s leading run-scorer Heino Kuhn inexplicably ran himself out for 32, abruptly ending a promising opening partnership of 55, Hampshire sniffed their chance of victory.
Opener Bell-Drummond appeared to be playing the anchor role, but when he chopped a delivery on to his own stumps off Chris Wood at 179-4 in the 35th over, the game already appeared up.
Big-hitting middle-order players Alex Blake (9) and veteran Darren Stevens (12) failed to make significant enough contributions to support Billings (75) as he tried a late rescue act.
Hampshire’s almost immaculate fielding also proved their undoing with four run-outs, including an impressive direct hit from long leg by Mason Crane to dismiss Blake.
Kent’s 40 years of Lord’s hurt
For Kent, defeat extended their wait for a winning Lord’s final to 40 years, stretching back to the 1978 B&H final.
Eight defeats in one-day finals have now followed since that Bob Woolmer-inspired six-wicket win against Derbyshire.
The loss will disappoint both the players and their supporters at a time when the club appear to be on an upward trajectory.
But Matt Walker and Allan Donald’s squad are well-placed for promotion in County Championship Division Two at the halfway stage of the season.
Their side contains a mix of promising home-grown players and a number of experienced heads, including 42-year-old Stevens.
Kent captain Sam Billings told BBC Radio Kent:
“[There is] huge disappointment, but full credit to Hampshire, they played very well on the day.
“I’m just very proud of the team in this tournament and the way they have been in this tournament, the mood in the dressing room, they’re a great credit to this club.
“Everyone can be very proud. In a very short time, we’ve come a long way as a group. We were bottom of the group last year and we’re definitely on the up and looking good to move forward.
“The big moments also didn’t go our way and they can be small margins. Unfortunately, we kept losing wickets and, if that happens in a run-chase, it can be difficult to get a score.”
Hampshire coach Craig White told BBC Radio Solent:
“The boys have done brilliantly. A lot of youngsters have done well, which is very pleasing.
“We have done at lot of work in the field, particularly throwing at the stumps. It’s shown.
“The lads have worked hard and it’s paid off. It’s a great day. I’m so proud of them.”