Tom Alsop crashed his highest NatWest T20 Blast score to help Hampshire thrash Somerset by 83 runs last night to condemn the visitors to the South Group wooden spoon.
Stand-in captain Liam Dawson then bagged his first Blast five-for with figures of five for 17 as Somerset’s chase never got going. They were dismissed for 98.
Alsop started as he meant to go on, after Dawson had won the toss and opted to bat, stroking two boundaries through mid-wicket in the first over.
Hampshire, who were resigned to playing youngsters after long since being knocked out, were further hindered when captain Sean Ervine was injured in the warm-up and Adam Wheater was struck down by illness.
Those absentees meant there was a place for teenager Jake Goodwin to make his senior debut, and he took his chance opening up with Alsop.
The pair provided a platform, building 83 for the first wicket, with the promising Goodwin scoring 32 before he was stumped off fellow Blast first-timer Dominic Bess.
Alsop was clattering everything coming his way, two maximums sailing over the ropes on his way to a maiden format fifty – the seventh of his senior career – off 34 balls.
Pakistani Shahid Afridi, on his last Hampshire performance, entertained in a 12-ball cameo, where he bagged 21, but drilled a full toss straight to short extra cover.
Another 50 partnership between Alsop and Dawson followed.
Alsop was closing in on three figures but was running out of time and, with 14 balls left in the innings, he opened up – firstly he was dropped at deep mid-wicket but a ball later he departed for 85.
Somerset’s pursuit of 182 did not start well as Adam Hose was caught behind in the second over off Ryan McLaren.
South African McLaren was back in the wickets when Peter Trego skied to Gavin Griffiths at mid-on and the Lancashire loanee bowled James Hildreth an over later as the chase faltered.
Tom Abell was next to fall, the first of the evening to spin, as Dawson tempted him to cut and Alsop took a fine diving catch.
Dawson took two in two balls, Ryan Davies bowled and Josh Davey stumped, and then Afridi joined in when opener Jim Allenby – a rare positive with 40 – swept to short fine leg.
England T20 star Dawson had Bess bowled and Max Waller snaffled deep on the leg side to complete his best analysis in 20-over cricket.
Brad Taylor ended the annihilation by castling Oliver Sale, giving Hampshire their fourth win of the campaign as both sides bowed out.