Briggs: Maintaining form key to promotion

Suzie Bates

Vipers lose as rain puts dampener on home clash

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Danny Briggs believes if Hampshire show the same form that they have all season, they will get promoted from division two.

Hampshire will seal their place in County Championship division one if they beat Kent, and other results go their way.

Worcestershire secured the first of two promotion spots on Friday following their dramatic win over Surrey.

That result leaves Dale Benkenstein’s men 28 points behind the league leaders with just two games to go.

Essex remain their only other realistic promotion rival and they have Leicestershire and Worcestershire still to play.

Meanwhile, Hampshire travel to Glamorgan next Tuesday confident of victory.

So Hampshire effectively have their fate in their own hands and Briggs is confident they can pull it off, starting at the Ageas Bowl today.

He said: ‘We are confident about our promotion chances.

‘We’ve played some good cricket this season and have put ourselves into a good position.

‘Obviously we’ve got two big games ahead of us.

‘The main goal is to get promoted to division one.

‘I want to contribute as much as I can and do whatever I can for the team.’

It was their 196-run victory over Kent that kick-started Hampshire’s promotion charge last month.

Chris Wood took a career-best five for 39 in his first Championship game of the season to lift his side up to second and they haven’t looked back since.

‘It’s always harder when you’ve already beaten a side because they don’t want to be beaten for a second time,’ said Briggs.

‘We know what we have to do and we really want it so hopefully that will spur us to put on a good performance.

‘As long as we can carry on the way we’ve been playing, then hopefully we can get the right result.

‘The batters have scored a decent amount of runs all season and the bowlers have bowled consistently so if we can do that for long enough then hopefully after four days we can come out on top.’

It is also Hampshire’s last home game of the season and Briggs is keen to give the fans something to cheer.

He said: ‘It’s always nice to to play at home, especially for the regular fans who have supported us all season.

‘It’s a last chance to get a win and show them we appreciate their support.

‘Obviously getting promotion to division one is great for the fans.’

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir is set to play his first game for the county since 2011.

The South African international first joined Hampshire in July 2008 and enjoyed his most successful season for the club in 2011, taking 50 wickets in all competitions.

Hampshire have brought Tahir in to replace the pace of Kyle Abott and he is expected to take some crucial wickets in the final two games of the season.

However, the Ageas Bowl outfit have been dealt a blow, as Michael Carberry suffered a hand injury in training and will miss the end of the season.

Batsmen Sean Terry and Tom Alsop have been called up to the 13-man squad.