HAMPSHIRE have thrashed the Kent Spitfires by 163 runs in the Royal London Cup at Beckenham, after a sensational 181 by Tom Prest, writes Fred Atkins.
The 19-year-old creamed the Kent attack to every corner of the ground in an innings of 138 balls, which included seven sixes. Prest put on a stand of 207 with Nick Gubbins, who himself hit 117 from 107 balls, as the visitors posted 396 for five from their 50 overs.
Hamid Qadri was the pick of Kent’s bowlers, but even his two wickets came at the cost of 71 balls and the Spitfires slumped from 45 without loss to 233 all out in a run chase that looked doomed as soon as wickets began to fall.
Jack Campbell had Hampshire’s best figures with four for 44, while Alex Blake was Kent’s top scorer with 62.
A healthy crowd of over around 1,800 saw Hampshire’s openers made 49 without loss before Nathan Gilchrist bowled Aneurin Donald for 21, but that was the hosts’ last success for over two hours, as Gubbins and Prest flayed the bowling.
Gubbins cut Joey Evison for four to reach his 50, while Prest survived an early appeal for a catch after reverse sweeping Qadri and reached his half-century by hitting George Linde for six over cow corner.
Gubbins’ century arrived during a bruising over for Kent all-rounder Joey Evison that went for 17. Prest took five from the first two balls and Gubbins hit 12 from the remaining four.
Prest glanced Gilchrist for two to reach three figures, but the stand was finally broken when Hamid Qadri took two wickets in the 38th over. Gubbins finally fell when he was caught by Gilchrist and the hosts’s hopes were fleetingly raised when Ben Brown was caught by sub fielder George Ealham for just two.
They quickly nosedived again as Toby Albert joined Prest and made a rapid 35 before he was lbw to Navdeep Saini.
Prest drove Quinn for four to pass 150 and eventually perished in the 50th over when he holed out to Gilchrist and was caught on the boundary by Ealham.
It said something about the way the innings had gone that the home fans were relieved Hampshire hadn’t reached 400 and Kent made a solid enough start to the chase, reaching 45 without loss before Ben Compton was caught by Fletcha Middleton off John Turner for 24.
Campbell then quickly removed both Tawanda Muyeye and Ollie Robinson. The latter made 40 before he was caught behind and Robinson was caught by Scott Currie for 22.
Felix Organ had Joey Evison caught for one by Ian Holland and when Prest then had George Linde caught by Holland for three, Kent were 113 for five and fans were already starting to leave.
They missed some fireworks from Blake, but he rapidly ran out of partners. Stewart offered some brief entertainment with 15 before he fell to a steepling catch by Donald off Organ.
Blake smacked Prest for a six over long off to reach 50 and stood his ground after a strong appeal for a catch off Organ, but then fell to a superb diving catch by Donald in the same over, the brilliance of which was nearly matched by Albert when sprinted to remove Qadri off Currie for seven.
Campbell had Matt Quinn caught by Holland for eight and despite some late hitting by Gilchrist, who made his highest List A score of 33, the rout was completed when he swished Campbell to Gubbins.
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