Briggs ready to swap spin for pace

Danny Briggs Picture: Neil Marshall

Danny Briggs Picture: Neil Marshall

Brad Taylor.  Picture: Sarah Standing

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Expectant father Danny Briggs collected his first five-wicket haul of the season for Hampshire as he plays a double waiting game.

The slow left-armer, who has had to bide his time to get back in the side this term, has grasped his chance with both hands in the absence of the injured Liam Dawson, playing a starring role in the win at Leicestershire last time out and this week taking five for 50 in Derbyshire’s first innings.

And he will be tasked with doing the same thing again as the visitors chase 346 to win from the final day – although he may not get that opportunity with heavy rain forecast.

But if any play is possible in the breaks in the expected rain, the 23-year-old former Ventnor man will be forgiven for making an occasional glance towards the Hampshire balcony to check if the call has come from wife Linsey that baby Briggs is on the way.

Briggs said: ‘The baby is due in the next fortnight. The physio is on stand-by with my phone, so if I get the signal, I could be running off quite quickly!

‘I’m looking forward to it but, hopefully, I won’t be away from cricket for too long.

‘If the baby chooses a good day to come, that would be nice and I wouldn’t miss any games.’

While Briggs could be forced to make a quick dash back across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, he is hopeful it will be after Hampshire claim a Championship win against Derbyshire – if the rain holds off.

‘If we bowl as we did in the first innings, we’ve got a big chance,’ said Briggs.

‘It will need a big effort and, hopefully, the weather doesn’t come so we can put them under pressure.

‘We probably had half an eye on the weather when we declared but with a lead of more than 330, our thoughts are that we’ll win the game from there.

‘We feel that they would need to bat really well to win.’

In reply to Hampshire’s 388, Derbyshire made 257 all out, before the home side declared their second innings on 214 for five.

And Briggs, who has adopted many of his limited-over methods upon his return to the Championship side, believes he can prosper on a pitch that is offering enough assistance.

He said: ‘It’s basically trying to bowl how I bowl in one-day cricket and on days three and four, it will probably spin a little bit more.

‘That’s where I have been more consistent in my career so far, so why not bowl that way in all forms?

‘I just want to hit the same spot on the wicket and make them defend.

‘It has worked so far and there is a decent amount of rough and the odd ball has done a bit.

‘It’s about waiting for things to happen.’

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