sport

Final chance for Lancashire

Lancashire will play Birmingham Bears in the NatWest T20 Blast final after recovering from early trouble to beat Hampshire by 41 runs in a rain-affected second semi-final at Edgbaston.

Reduced to 3-2 in eight balls after being sent in, Lancashire were rescued by opening batsman Ashwell Prince, who finished 72 not out in a final total of 160-5 from 19 overs.

South African left-hander Prince combined with Karl Brown (41) in a third-wicket stand of 69 before Hampshire's part-time spinner Will Smith - who had struck with the first delivery of the match to have Tom Smith lbw - removed both Brown and Jos Buttler (1) in the 11th over on the way to figures of 3-15.

But Prince batted through, hitting three fours and three sixes from 53 balls, and received good support from his skipper Paul Horton (19) and Steven Croft (22no) in the later overs.

The second of two rain breaks - the first came with Lancashire 6-2 in the third over - brought a premature end to Lancashire's innings and meant Hampshire were left to chase a revised target of 143 from 16 overs (Duckworth/Lewis method) when the skies cleared.

Hampshire, twice winners of this competition in the past five years, lost openers James Vince (1) and Michael Carberry (10) with the score on 11 and never recovered, collapsing to 101 all out in 14.1 overs.

No 3 Jimmy Adams played a lone hand for Hampshire with 53 before being ninth out, while Lancashire's bowlers shared the wickets around, two each for Croft (2-11), James Anderson (2-24), Stephen Parry (2-22) and Tom Smith (2-28).

Lancashire, who have never won the English domestic T20 competition, face a quick turnaround for the final at 6.45pm. in the first semi-final at the start of the day.