Alsop: Best is yet to come from Hampshire

Tom Alsop. Picture: Neil Marshall
Tom Alsop. Picture: Neil Marshall
Jonny Bairstow, right, thanks skipper Eoin Morgan. Picture: Neil Marshall

Here’s Jonny! Bairstow shows true class with Ageas Bowl ton

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Tom Alsop believes Hampshire have power to add as they fight for NatWest T20 Blast qualification.

The 21-year-old and his Ageas Bowl team-mates were left kicking their heels when torrential downpours put paid to a home showdown with south group leaders Surrey.

Alsop, who hammered a brilliant 64 at Sussex on Thursday night, has seen his side’s twenty20 campaign hit the buffers in the past week.

After three straight wins got it off to a flying start, back-to-back defeats and today’s no result have left Hampshire in fourth spot in the group.

Alsop believes there is no reason to panic, though.

In fact, he is confident the best is yet to come from his county as they target another memorable appearance at finals day – after lifting the crown in 2010 and 2012.

He said: ‘We we wanted to get back on track after two losses, so it is very frustrating.

‘It has been a strange one. We went off like a train at the start of the competition and then had two blips.

‘I am not sure why that happened, it is just twenty20 cricket.

‘If you get off to a winning start it becomes a habit and the same with losing.

‘Surrey are a very strong side who have been on a good run but we backed ourselves to win.’

Alsop used team-mate Rilee Rossouw as an example of someone who has yet to really get going in the NatWest T20 Blast.

The South African showcased his international quality with a blistering 156 in the Royal London One-Day Cup clash at Somerset.

And with a return to Taunton on Wednesday and visit to Gloucestershire on Friday, Alsop believes it is only a matter of time before Rossouw delivers another big performance and Hampshire hit top gear.

He added: ‘Hopefully, the next two games will be very winnable – especially with the line-up we have.

‘The good thing with us is that some of our batsmen haven’t fired yet.

‘Like Rilee, if he gets going then you quickly see why he is an international player – as you saw with his earlier knock at Taunton.’

Torrential rain showers made sure there was no chance of play.

The closest the Ageas Bowl crowd got to any action was a 4.15pm inspection by the umpires.

However, that was quickly curtailed by another heavy downpour.

Umpires Mike Burns and Rob Bailey eventually called off the fixture at 4.25pm.

And Surrey’s assistant coach Stuart Barnes had no qualms.

He added: ‘We can’t do anything about the weather – that was some pretty big rain so there was no chance of any play.

‘Qualification is still in our hands, so we will train hard this week and look forward to the next game.’