Gladiators hunt down Hawks

Hardinges heroics ensure narrow win

By Joe Drabble   Last updated: 10th August 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Gladiators hunt down Hawks

Hardinges: Match-winner

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NatWest Pro40 - Division One
Hampshire Hawks 236-4 Innings Complete (M J Lumb 88, M A Carberry 56) v Gloucestershire Gladiators 238-8 (M J North 56)
Gloucestershire beat Hampshire by 2 wkts

Mark Hardinges proved an unlikely hero as Gloucestershire beat Hampshire by two wickets in a thrilling NatWest Pro40 League contest at Cheltenham.

The long-serving all-rounder crashed 27 from 20 balls, including two sixes and a four, to see the Gladiators over the finish line after they had been earlier been set 237 for victory.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat, Hampshire recovered superbly after losing John Crawley early for a duck - Michael Lumb (88) and Michael Carberry (56) putting on 116 for the second wicket.

When the partnership was finally broken by the inspirational Hardinges, Chris Benham took up the mantle expertly as he blazed 49 from 35 balls to propel the Hawks towards an imposing total.

Gloucestershire started their chase superbly as openers Kadeer Ali (43) and Hamish Marshall (47) took it to the Hampshire seamers with a strike rate of better than a run a ball.

Marcus North's fine form continued when he came in at number three, however when he departed for 56, Gladiators stuttered to 189-6 with 11 overs remaining.

However, all-rounder Hardinges kept his nerve when it mattered by striking the winning boundary off the penultimate ball from Billy Taylor.

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