Hampshire won the toss and chose to field first, a decision they were going to regret especially after Kyle Coetzer and Shiv Chanderpaul put on a 111 run partnership off 119 balls for the 3rd wicket. At this stage, Durham were 180-3 off 32 overs and looking like a total of 270 would be in the equation. Six overs later, Chanderpaul was run out, for 78 off 79 balls including 8 fours and 2 sixes. The captain, Dale Benkenstein came to the crease and helped to put on a 58 run partnership for the 5th wicket before Collingwood was out for a painful 22 off 35 balls, a really slow innings in comparison to the rest of the side. Durham was placed nicely with 278 on the board and 13 balls to go.
Otis Gibson came to join Benkenstein in the middle as the non-striker and a single off the last ball meant he would wait a little longer to face his first ball. In the 48th over Tremlett managed to get a dot ball in and only allow a single to Benkenstein off the second ball before Gibson faced his first ball, which he carted for a six and then smashed a four off the next ball. Tremlett not being too pleased with this sent down a life flashing before your eyes beamer that had Gibson ducking for cover. Gibson managed 3 runs off Tremlett’s last 2 balls bringing up 16 runs for the over.
Powell was given the honour to bowl the last over and must have thought he was onto something with 3 singles off his first 3 balls. However, Benkenstein had other ideas. He finished the innings off with a six and two fours, bringing the total to 312/5 a record for a FP trophy final. Benkenstein ended up with 61 off 43 balls.
Hampshire knew that a good start would be vital and it was a dream start if you were a Durham supporter as Gibson, probably the oldest opening bowler ever in county cricket snapped up Michael Lumb with the first ball of the match and Ervine with the second ball. Hampshire were going nowhere after a start like this and just to ensure that there would be no revival Gibson picked up his third wicket in the 9th over which happened to be Kevin Pietersen leaving them reeling at 17-3 after 9 overs.
There was some resistance from JP Crawley and the rain which appeared just after Crawley was bowled by Collingwood. The reserve day had to be used, which allowed Hampshire to resume on Sunday where they left off at 153/5 chasing 160 off 18 overs. They managed 34 runs for the last 5 wickets and took a massive 125 run defeat at the hands of Durham. Nicky Pothas again re-enforced why I think he should be the first choice keeper for England with a handy 47 runs off 52 balls, the second highest score for Hampshire.