GLOUCESTERSHIRE lost by two runs in a thrilling NatWest T20 Blast game against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.
Howell smashed 50 runs off 21 balls against his former county to set up an exciting finish before being run out off the penultimate ball of the match with Graeme McCarter only able to score three off Kyle Abbott with a maximum needed to reach their target of 181.
Tom Smith hit 30 not out from just 13 balls and smacked the first three balls of the final over for four, which started with Gloucestershire requiring 20 to win with three wickets left.
Jimmy Adams scored 69 from 46 balls in Hampshire’s 180-6, with David Payne (2-25) and Tom Smith (2-35) taking two wickets apiece.
Alex Gidman (37) and Michael Klinger (17) put on 61 for the first wicket as Gloucestershire made a good start to their reply but they lost five wickets for 21 runs before Howell brought them back into contention.
Gloucestershire, who are now five points off the top four, face the only side below them in the South Group on Thursday when they face Middlesex at Lord’s before they take on Kent at Bristol on Friday.