Dale Steyn’s early impact helped Hampshire advance to the final of the Royal London One-Day Cup as Yorkshire were crushed by 107 runs in Southampton.
Steyn’s opening five overs cost just 17 runs, with 22 dot balls, and included the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara for a duck.
The Phalaborwa Express can look back with satisfaction at his contribution, which showed a remarkable improvement from the first game he played after his long injury lay-off since January. In his first game back, for Hampshire in the quarter-final of this one-day cup, he had leaked 50 runs from his first five overs, and ended with 81-1 off 10.
But, as he said later, after a testing 26 overs in the County Championship, all he needed was to get back into the field and get bowling again.
Steyn is in the Proteas Test team to play Sri Lanka in two Tests, starting 12 July, but he has not been included in the ODI squad. One of his goals, though, is to play in the 2019 World Cup.
Hampshire will now meet Kent, who are heavily indebted to former Titans opener Heino Kuhn, in the final at Lord’s on 30 June.
Earlier, James Vince reigned supreme in guiding Hampshire to their imposing total, scoring 172 off 160 balls, with 20 fours and three sixes.
Rilee Rossouw provided good support in a stand of 46 off seven overs for the second wicket at almost seven an over on his way to 32 off 36, and the standard was picked up by Sam Northeast, who contributed 58 to a third-wicket partnership of 142 for the third wicket.
At that stage, Hampshire were in a healthy position at 218-3 off 33 overs.
Yorkshire can count themselves lucky that they were presented with ‘just 346’ as the lower order did not make any big-impact scores – 25 by Lewis McManus being the best of the rest.