Lancashire’s cricketers are out of the Friends Life t20, beaten at the quarter-final stage against Hampshire, losing by one run at the Ageas Bowl.
Hampshire booked their place at finals day at Edgbaston later this month after Lancashire’s Gareth Cross, needing four off Sohail Tanvir’s last delivery, could only manage two.
The home side had justified their current status as England’s most successful one-day side when amassing a formidable 202 for three after being put in.
But Lancashire, requiring more than 10 runs an over on a flat pitch, almost got there as they threatened a major upset.
Hampshire’s hero was their opening batsman Michael Carberry who reached a century from the last ball of his team’s innings.
But his work was almost undone by some big hitting from Lancashire’s fifth-wicket pair of Cross and Steven Croft and by some poor late Hampshire bowling.
Cross and Croft put on 68 from the final six overs, hauling Lancashire back from the brink of defeat at 133 for four in the 15th.
Lancashire kept their nerve as 57 were needed off the final four overs and then 17 from the last, bowled by experienced Pakistani Sohail.
Sohail conceded a no-ball off the first delivery and struggled for direction and control to silence a big home crowd fearing the worst.
But in the end Sohail recovered his poise and two-time winners Hampshire got through to their fourth successive finals day.