Briggs backed to inspire Hampshire to more glory

Hampshire bowler Danny Briggs
Hampshire bowler Danny Briggs
United Services vs Sarisbury II at United Services Cricket Ground, Burnaby Road

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Danny Briggs is the man to steer Hampshire to the brink of yet more silverware.

That is the verdict of Dimi Mascarenhas, who is eyeing a second trophy of the season in the form of the Clydesdale Bank 40.

The Royals clinched the Friends Life t20 last weekend with a stunning 10-run triumph over Yorkshire on finals day.

Now they face Sussex tomorrow at Hove in the semi-finals of the CB40.

Briggs continues to be an integral member of Hampshire’s limited-overs sides in all competitions.

The Newport-born talent’s consistent form has earned him a call-up to England’s t20 squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka next month.

Skipper Mascarenhas is out of tomorrow’s Hove fixture with a shoulder injury but he continues to be impressed by Briggs’ development.

And he is convinced in his absence the England spinner has the talent to inspire the Royals to reach another final.

He said: ‘Winning trophies is what we play cricket to do, that’s what clubs want to do.

‘They want to win silverware and we’ve won two in three years now.

‘In Danny we have someone who has really improved.

‘I know his stats this year don’t tell a very good tale but it’s one of those things, it’s twenty20.

‘Those wickets in Sri Lanka will suit the turners. He’s not a big turner, so all he needs to do is turn it a little bit, with his variations of pace and the way he gets his yorkers in, I think he’ll be a huge asset.

‘Whether they pick him straight away, I’m not sure – that’s one for the selectors.

‘But I hope he gets the opportunity because I think he’ll do very well.

‘He’s well ahead of his time in his head that’s for sure. He’s a 40-year-old playing in a 21-year-old’s body!

‘He’s extremely good. He knows batters and knows how to bowl to different batters.

‘He came to me in his last over (against Yorkshire) and said “I’m going to bowl into the wicket”. I said “what, into the wicket? Surely bowl yorkers?”

‘And he said, “no I’m going into the wicket, alright?”

‘He did it his way and he knows more than me about spin that’s for sure!’

Mascarenhas will miss the remainder of Hampshire’s season due to his shoulder injury.

And Giles White’s men will now have to go it alone in both the championship and CB40.

He added: ‘I’ve torn a tendon in my shoulder. I tore it two weeks ago and I did it again the other week, trying to play CB40.

‘So I just had to try and grin and bear it through finals day.

‘It was a huge stress to be honest, the team balance is not easy when the captain is not looking like he’s going to be fit. But I got through.’