Jimmy Adams has tipped Hampshire to build on their maiden victory of the season.
The left-hander smashed a brilliant unbeaten 55 to help the Ageas Bowl outfit launch their NatWest T20 Blast campaign with a 17-run triumph over Essex last night.
After two defeats and two draws in the County Championship, the hosts were visibily lifted by the return to a format where they have excelled in recent campaigns.
They had to weather a few nervy moments as Ryan ten Doeschate fired a late Essex charge with an explosive half century.
But having got over the line, Adams is hopeful they can use it as a springboard to an overdue win in four-day cricket as top-flight leaders Middlesex visit tomorrow.
‘We are really delighted,’ said Hampshire’s four-day skipper.
‘It’s a huge fillip. We have had a tough start to the year but it is nice to start this competition on the right foot.
‘The guys did a lot of things right and most things went to plan.
‘Ryan ten Doeschate played a gem of an innings.
‘He is a very, very good player in all formats but especially twenty20.
‘He was a wicket I always felt we needed to make sure of the game.
‘Even needing 24 off the last over you want him at the other end or out.
‘So it was just nice to get that wicket and be singing our song in the dressing room again.
‘A win puts a spring in everyone’s step and makes you feel better about turning up for the next game.
‘I am really delighted for the lads and with the guys getting a bit of twenty20 confidence, hopefully that will go some way to getting our first (Championship) win of the year.
‘We have been in good positions and are due a game where we kick on.
‘Hopefully this will be the one.’
Adams launched a brutal attack on Essex – smashing his first 10 balls for 32.
But he insisted the stand of 63 by Michael Carberry and James Vince was key to his blistering display.
‘They are proven performers in this game and quality players,’ he said.
‘We are very lucky to have them at the top.
‘That sort of platform gives you a bit of freedom and it was one of those days when the first half-dozen balls I hit seemed to find gaps.
‘Twenty20 lets you free yourself up and just try to hit the ball.
‘Sometimes in four-day cricket you can get bogged down but twenty20 will do us a lot of good as a group and hopefully we can move forward.’
Adams missed last week’s defeat at Yorkshire to be at the birth of his second son Joshua, who joined older brother Jonah on Monday.
He added: ‘We tried to avoid another J but we couldn’t settle.
‘The dog is called Juno, too, so we’ve had a bit of a shocker there!’