Awesome Afridi gives Hampshire dream start in T20 Blast

Lewis McManus. Picture: Neil Marshall
Lewis McManus. Picture: Neil Marshall
George Bailey is bowled for a duck against Essex. Picture: Neil Marshall

Hampshire fall to Essex loss

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Hampshire began their T20 Blast campaign in fine fettle with a 22-run victory over Glamorgan.

Lewis McManus struck 59 from just 35 balls while Shahid Afridi took four for 20 with the ball at Sophia Gardens.

The Pakistan legend has rejoined the Ageas Bowl outfit for the t20 season for a second successive year.

He was delighted with his performance and believes it was crucial to start the new campaign with a win.

Afridi said: ‘We have made a great start to the season and it was a really important spell from me.

‘It was good for the team and good for myself to start the t20 season with a win.

‘We started well with the bat, but after the six overs I think there were too many dot balls and the pressure came on us – that’s why we lost wickets.

‘The pitch was very good and I thought maybe we’d go to get 180-plus.

‘Graham Wagg’s innings for Glamorgan was important – he really played great in a crucial situation.’

Rilee Rossouw and James Vince opened the batting for Hampshire and quickly set the tone.

The latter raced to 31 at a rate of more than two runs per ball before he was caught off Michael Hogan.

From 52 without loss, the visitors soon found themselves 70 for four as Rossouw was sent back to the pavilion when bowled by Hogan.

Michael Carberry (four) and Sean Ervine (six) both quickly followed.

It meant Bailey and McManus had to steady the ship, as well as ensuring the scoreboard continued to tick over.

The latter hastily found his rhythm and produced a batting masterclass.

He dominated Glamorgan’s bowlers and was well supported by his Aussie team-mate.

Their 95-run partnership was broken when McManus was dismissed by a magnificent catch in the cover from Colin Ingram off Wagg for 59.

His innings included three fours and five sixes and Hampshire finished on 167 for five.

The visitors made a dream start in the field as Reece Topley removed David Lloyd and Ingram in the first over.

Glamorgan recovered to 43 for two before Afridi struck twice in two balls.

He first bowled Aneurin Donald (25) before Kiran Carlson was trapped lbw for a duck.

The all-rounder then got rid of Jacques Rudolph as the hosts slumped to 47 for five.

Chris Cooke and Wagg mustered some resistance for the Welsh outfit, with the latter reaching a half-century.

However, Afridi claimed his fourth wicket to dismiss Cooke while Mason Crane had Wagg caught by Vince.

The home team needed an unlikely 27 from the final over

Gareth Berg removed Timm van der Gugten and further economic bowling meant Glamorgan scored just five and fell 22 runs short.