Adams: We can still deliver thrilling finale

Jimmy Adams. Picture: Barry Zee

Jimmy Adams. Picture: Barry Zee

Liam Dawson. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Jimmy Adams believes Hampshire have the character to lift themselves for their final push after seeing the Friends Life t20 crown ripped from their grasp.

The long-serving batsman cut a distraught figure as the Royals went down in a one-over eliminator after a breathtaking tie in their rain-affected semi-final with old foes Somerset.

Having rescued the game with an astonishing last over in regular play to force a tie, Somerset’s score of 16 proved to be an insurmountable task for Adams and Shahid Afridi.

But with Hampshire’s focus now back on their bid to avoid relegation from County Championship division one, Adams insists the Royals cannot afford to lick their wounds for long.

He said: ‘It’s bitterly disappointing and the boys are gutted but we’ve played a lot of good cricket in this competition.

‘The boys can be proud of what we achieved. Sadly, it wasn’t to be this time.

‘We can bounce back from thisand we’ve certainly got something to focus on.

‘It’s going to be a tough run-in in the Championship but we’ve got something to turn to.

‘If we were somewhere in mid-table, it would be ideal in some ways but you could see the season petering out for us.

‘We’ve got plenty of work still to do, with three very tough games left in the Championship.

‘If we can win one of the next two games, we’ve still got a chance.

‘It could still be a thrilling finish. We came out on the wrong side of one very tight finish so maybe this one can go our way.

‘We got ourselves out of trouble last year and we can do it again.’

While Hampshire’s Championship problems have seen them in relegation trouble all year, their t20 form saw them reach finals day as the top-ranked side in the competition.

And Adams believes a shift in focus at the club has paid dividends in the shortest form of the game.

He said: ‘There has been a definite switch in the approach by the club towards t20 cricket.

‘There has been a more obvious plan to focus more heavily on t20 cricket.

‘We’ve brought some quality players in and, as a group, we know how to play that form of the game.

‘It’s just a shame we couldn’t go that step further this time.’

Having laid down a marker and come up just short of making a successful defence, Adams believes his side will be in the hunt again next year.

He said: ‘I think everyone recognises we are one of the stronger t20 sides in the country now.

‘We know how it works. If we can play cricket how we have in recent years in this competition, it will stand us in good stead.

‘It’s all about getting a good formula, getting lucky with injuries and getting that bit of luck on the pitch when you need it.

‘If we can get off to a decent start again next year, we will be looking to get back to finals day again. There’s no reason why we can’t do that.’

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