New county cap recipient Liam Dawson proved his worth to the Hampshire Royals once again with a vital half-century as they stumbled past Scotland.
Dawson, David Balcombe and James Vince all enjoyed the honour of receiving their county caps before the game – a mark of the esteem they are all held in at the Ageas Bowl.
But while it was Vince who stole the show at Chelmsford on Friday night with his fabulous century, it was 23-year-old Dawson who stood up when questions were asked this time around with a gutsy knock that encapsulated his unflappable skills down the order.
Dawson said: ‘To be honest, when I was walking in to bat, we were in a bit of strife at 78 for four.
‘My plan was just to knock the ball around. I’m not a big-hitter but I try to hit gaps and rotate the strike. I did that and that lets other lads bat around me.
‘But we are a good one-day side, we bat a long way down and we’ve shown we can get ourselves out of trouble.
‘I was pleased to play my part in that and put on a good partnership with Adam Wheater.
‘It was pretty convincing in the end but there was a bit of a stutter from us in that middle period.
‘When we get ourselves into sticky situations, we can get ourselves out of it.
‘Thankfully we managed to get over the line.’
Dawson also admitted that the unexpected honour of receiving his county cap had given him an extra boost for the clash.
He said: ‘It’s a big honour for me and thanks to Hampshire for giving me my county cap. I didn’t have a clue it was coming.
‘It shows that you are a pretty consistent first-team player and that’s the main reason for it.
‘I’m thankful to get it and I’m sure Vincey and Balcs are as well.
‘Even if I wasn’t capped, I would like to think I have been around a long time to be established here and it’s an honour to play for Hampshire.
‘But it’s a very special moment and it’s something as a domestic cricketer that you want to do.
‘It certainly spurred me on.’
With two wins out of two on the board already, the Royals could put themselves in a very promising position if they can make it three with victory over Surrey today as they look to defend the title they won at Lord’s last year.
And Dawson believes the Royals have every chance of retaining their crown as the best limited-overs side in the country.
‘We’ve got as good a chance as anyone,’ he said.
‘We’ve shown what a good one-day side we are in the past few years and we’ve still got Dimi Mascarenhas and Neil McKenzie to come back in.
‘They are two massive players and it shows we have got strength in depth.
‘We’ve got a group who are very good at one-day cricket and we are getting better at four-day cricket as well. It’s a good blend.
‘We know it’s a massive game at Surrey.
‘But teams will fear us, no matter if it’s Surrey or Scotland.
‘We’re a good side – we have shown that on Friday at Essex and also in this game.
‘If we can get three wins from our first three games, that would be a massive statement, especially as we are trying to defend the title.
‘We know it won’t be easy and they have got some very good players. But if we play good cricket, we will do well.’