Keogh shines with bat and ball but Steelbacks are stunned by Hampshire fightback

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Rob Keogh shone with bat and ball but Northants Steelbacks were stunned by Hamsphire on the Isle of Wight on Tuesday.

Keogh claimed three for 32 from seven overs - a career-best effort with the ball in List A cricket - as Hampshire were bowled out for just 199.

Jack White took three for 34 and Nathan Buck two for 21 in what was a hugely impressive bowling performance from the Steelbacks.

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Hampshire, who had won the toss and opted to have a bat, had a huge task with the ball as they sought to keep themselves in the Royal London One Day Cup clash.

Rob KeoghRob Keogh
Rob Keogh

And although Keogh proved to be a thorn in their side as he registered an important 74 from 83 balls, wickets fell regularly around him.

Hampshire fought hard and with no Northants batsman able to steady the ship following Keogh's departure at 177 for five, the County came up agonisingly short as they were bowled out for 188, losing by 11 runs.

Earlier, Hampshire skipper Nick Gubbins had no hesitation when he chose to bat on a brilliantly hot day and on a pitch which gave the impression of being perfect for batting. It quickly proved otherwise.

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Instead of speeding through, the ball stuck in the wicket to make it hard to time the ball. Aneurin Donald was the first to find this out when he guided the 12th ball of the match to point before Gubbins edged to second slip in the following over.

Ben Brown was leg before to a low bouncing Nathan Buck delivery having put on 45 with Tom Prest before Fletcha Middleton continued to recover the situation with a speedy 51-run partnership.

Prest, on the back of a superb 181 against Kent Spitfires, peppered the offside as he played the ball as late as he dared. His timing was proved with a straight drive early on and continued with late cuts.

His pièce de résistance was a skip and elegant drive over extra cover to bring up his half-century in 54 balls but fell to the following delivery when Alex Russell beguiled him in the flight, as the ball ended up in extra cover’s hands.

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Middleton had accumulated 35 before Keogh started to turn the screw. The off-spinner pinned down a concrete-footed Middleton and then had Felix Organ caught and bowled off a full toss four balls later.

Keogh added a third when he bowled the top of Toby Albert’s off stump as Hampshire’s middle order fumbled without finding meaningful partnerships.

Keith Barker, on his white-ball debut for Hampshire, provided some late innings runs with 38 but the Steelbacks refused to let the game get away from them as Jack White had Barker top edging to deep square and Jack Campbell edging behind, while Scott Currie was undone by a Buck short ball. Hampshire bowled out for 199 with 57 balls left unused.

Northamptonshire had the chase in complete control as Hampshire moved their show over to the Isle of Wight for the first time since 2019.

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When the Steelbacks chase started, Ricardo Vasconcelos’ poor form continued when he was lbw to a Barker away swinger second ball.

Will Young followed fairly soon after as Currie extracted some bounce to second slip.

But Emilio Gay and Keogh settled the innings with style. The pair adding 52 runs.

Keogh was imperious throughout. He cracked three fours in succession off Currie, beginning with a crunching slapped cut shot to get his innings moving.

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Everything seemed simple for Keogh as he reached his 50 in 57 balls.

Every time Northamptonshire appeared to be cantering to victory, a wicket would add a sense of jitters.

Gus Miller had been carefree for 31 but smashed to cover, while Ben Curran stuttered before another ball stopped in the pitch as he offered a simple caught and bowled for Currie.

With 23 runs still needed, Keogh was victim to the stoppy pitch and was caught at mid-off before the previously cheap Campbell snared Nathan Buck and Ben Sanderson in successive deliveries to alter the momentum completely.

James Sales was yorked by Campbell before a short pitch Turner delivery was skied to point to complete a famous Hampshire victory.

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