Cork: Let’s stuff Sussex

Dominic Cork gives Friedel de Wet some words of encouragement. Picture: Neil Marshall
Dominic Cork gives Friedel de Wet some words of encouragement. Picture: Neil Marshall
George Bailey is bowled for a duck against Essex. Picture: Neil Marshall

Hampshire fall to Essex loss

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Dominic Cork reckons the visit of Sussex could be the spark to ignite Hampshire’s season.

The skipper has been frustrated by his side’s start to the LV County Championship campaign, which has seen them second best in each of their first three division one fixtures.

With one draw and two defeats, Cork recognises it’s time to stop the rot.

He believes the fixture with old south coast rivals Sussex, which begins this morning, could not have come at a better time.

And the ex-England all-rounder has backed his under-fire players to deliver a morale-boosting derby triumph.

‘The reaction has got to come against Sussex,’ said Cork, who was unable to prevent his charges sliding to defeat at the hands of Surrey Lions in the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition on Monday.

‘We need the performances to be better and we will work as hard as we can.

‘We need to stick together as a side and support the people who are performing well at the moment.

‘If we can get seven or eight of us performing as we should, someone will get a good hiding.

‘I think it will help that it’s a derby. Whenever I have played against Sussex for Hampshire, there is always that rivalry. It’s probably just what we need.

‘There will be a little bit of chattering and a few things said.

‘But we need to roll our sleeves up, get stuck in and, hopefully, stuff Sussex.’

Liam Dawson’s fine start to the Championship season is one of the precious few positives to come out of the opening fixtures.

His battling 169 in the defeat to Somerset last week further underlined his progression as a top-order batter.

Not for the first time this season, Dawson found precious little support from his fellow batsmen as the Cidermen closed in on victory.

But Cork insists there is no danger of the Rose Bowl panic button being pushed.

‘There are no panic buttons being pressed,’ said the captain.

‘We are a confident and positive side and we’ve got to be honest, look at ourselves in the mirror and tell ourselves that it’s not good enough at the moment.

‘The figures are there. The scorebook never lies.

‘We are not playing good enough cricket but we have a good squad, a good group of people here and we will be very positive against Sussex.

‘I’m predicting we will beat them.’

Cork will be promoting a back-to-basics approach to his men this morning as they look to extinguish the threat of newly-promoted Sussex.

He believes his troops need to begin grinding out performances and take a greater pride in their own displays.

‘You have to take personal pride in your own performance,’ said Cork.

‘And if it’s not good enough for yourself, it’s not good enough for the team.

‘We’ve got to go back to the old fashioned way of gritting it out.’