HAMPSHIRE suffered one of their biggest Twenty20 defeats, against Surrey at a packed Oval last night.
An eight-wicket thrashing with 36 balls to spare in front of Surrey’s biggest crowd of the season represents Hampshire’s most emphatic T20 defeat for four years.
Having being reduced to 57-6 after 11 overs, they did well to make 131-9 But then they took a mauling at the hands of Jason Roy, who hit a magnificent 63 from only 25 balls.
And Kevin Pietersen scored his first runs against Hampshire since leaving for the Oval four years ago - including successive sixes against Glenn Maxwell – before Surrey captain Gary Wilson completed the rout with six more against Matt Coles.
Hampshire’s defeat came in front of a beery Oval crowd approaching 20,000.
Nothing went right from the moment James Vince lost the toss.
Hampshire were soon reeling on 36-3 at the end of the six-over powerplay, with Vince, Jimmy Adams and Michael Carberry all back in the dressing room.
Tillakaratne Dilshan began his Surrey spell with a tidy spell of off-spin (4-0-16-1).
Vince was soon undone by some extra bounce and movement from Azhar Mahmood, Hampshire’s destroyer during a similarly emphatic defeat against Auckland at the Champions League in South Africa in October 2012.
Adams looked in good touch when he drilled his first ball straight back past Mahmood for four before hitting another boundary through mid-wicket.
But then Hampshire’s leading scorer swept Dilshan’s off-spin straight to square leg.
Then, in the final powerplay over, Carberry got a nick against a ball delivered across his bows by Chris Tremlett.
It got worse for Hampshire when another nonsensical shot from Glenn Maxwell saw the Australian attempt to hit Gareth Batty’s off-spin out of the ground, only to be caught at long-on.
Ervine went in similar fashion, caught at deep mid-wicket to the first ball of the next over from slow left-armer Robin Peterson.
Hampshire really were in the mire when Coles was run out attempting a quick single following a reverse sweep.
At least Will Smith and Chris Wood restored some pride by putting on 33 from 28 balls.
Smith showed Maxwell and Ervine the value of keeping the ball on the ground with a 21-ball 25 which included only three boundaries before he was stumped off a leg-side wide.
Wood also batted intelligently during a 24-ball 27 that included two sixes, the first against the otherwise miserly off-spin of Gareth Batty to take Hampshire past their lowest T20 score (85 against Sussex in 2008) in the 15th over.
The second was a colossal hit on to the second tier of the pavilion against slow left-armer Zafar Ansari.
Wood did very well to ensure Hampshire had a total to bowl at. But after putting on 29 from 21 balls with Michael Bates, a surprise recall in place of Adam Wheater, the eighth-wicket pair were both out attempting to ‘Dilscoop’ Mahmood, while the eponymous Dilshan looked on.
Kyle Abbott pulled the first ball he has faced in the competition for six to ensure Surrey would have a target of more than six-and-a-half an over.
But Roy soon confirmed that that would be no problem. After reverse sweeping the first ball of the reply for four, he hit Coles over the extra-cover boundary as Surrey raced to 78-0 at the end of the six-over powerplay.
Then he slog-swept the first of his two maximums against Smith after Dilshan was bowled immediately after the powerplay, before finally departing at the end of the following over.
But Pietersen ensured there was no respite with an unbeaten 24 (20 balls), sharing 53 in six overs with Surrey captain Wilson (31* from 23 balls) as Hampshire were put out of their misery.