Cork: We fear nothing

Dominic Cork celebrates success with his Royal team-mates. Picture: Michael Jones
Dominic Cork celebrates success with his Royal team-mates. Picture: Michael Jones
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Dominic Cork cast his eye towards Friends Life t20 finals day at Edgbaston and roared: We fear nothing.

Danny Briggs, Imran Tahir and Shahid Afridi were once again in fine form as Hampshire crushed north group rivals Durham Dynamos in the quarter-final at the Rose Bowl.

The spin trio have already claimed 53 wickets on the road to finals day.

But in the wake of their latest triumph, Cork insisted his Royals are not a one-dimensional side.

Instead, he backed the reigning champions to beat any opponents, on any wicket – shrugging off suggestions they would need a turning wicket in Birmingham to defend their crown.

Cork believes the club’s versatility will come to the fore in the domestic t20 competition’s grand finale at the end of the month.

‘We have got quite a big squad,’ said the former England all-rounder.

‘We’ve got the likes of Simon Jones – I don’t know if you remember him but he’s quite a decent bowler.

‘We’ve also got Michael Carberry and Benny Howell – so that’s quite a lot of options.

‘We will take a full squad there and see what sort of wicket it is.

‘Whether we play in the first or second game of the day, it doesn’t really matter what sort of wicket it is.

‘We’ve played three spinners throughout the campaign – home and away – and we’ve only come unstuck once or twice.

‘So for me it doesn’t matter what we get.

‘Bring on a green wicket, spinning wicket, flat wicket – we still back ourselves against the opposition.

‘We want to win the competition and if we play like we did last night, we’ll beat anybody.

‘You have to go in there with confidence, determination and the experience that we’ve got and win a cricket game.’

Hampshire fans have watched their side slump to the bottom of County Championship division one and out of CB40 contention this summer.

But after such a difficult campaign, Cork is keen for the Royals supporters to enjoy last night’s success and look forward to finals day.

‘It’s fantastic for a lot of reasons,’ he said.

‘We’re not doing too well in the Championship and, with the rain in the Test match, the club has gone through a lot this season.

‘So to get a full house in a home quarter-final and then to get to finals day at Edgbaston, it’s a great way to thank all the supporters who have stuck with us.

‘Hopefully they can come and have a good day like last year.’

Hampshire will be joined at finals day by Leicestershire, last year’s runners-up Somerset and the winners of the fourth quarter-final today between Sussex and Lancashire.

And after fighting back from the brink in their last-eight tie – when three needless run outs looked set to derail their bid – Cork is confident they are in good shape.

He said: ‘That’s testament to the way we play our cricket.

‘Even in adversity – when we’re really up against it and losing wickets – the guys still go out there and express themselves.

‘We knew if we got over 130 it was always going to be a difficult prospect for any opposition to chase – especially with the spinners that we have.’