Hampshire all-rounder ready for finals day pressure

Chris Wood. Hampshire v Lancashire. Friends Life t20 quarter-final. Ageas Bowl. Wednesday, August 7, 2013. Picture: Neil Marshall
Chris Wood. Hampshire v Lancashire. Friends Life t20 quarter-final. Ageas Bowl. Wednesday, August 7, 2013. Picture: Neil Marshall
Jonny Bairstow, right, thanks skipper Eoin Morgan. Picture: Neil Marshall

Here’s Jonny! Bairstow shows true class with Ageas Bowl ton

0
Have your say

A year ago, Chris Wood was the hero as Hampshire clinched their second Friends Life t20 title.

Opponents Yorkshire needed 14 to win off the last six balls but ultimately fell well short, with the bowler picking up two crucial wickets and conceding just three runs.

Now the Royals are back at finals day for the fourth consecutive time – and the left-arm seamer can’t wait for the chance to steal the show again at Edgbaston.

Just Surrey stand between a place against Northamptonshire or Essex in the shootout for silverware and Wood knows it could be down to him once again to bowl out the normally nerve-wracking overs at the end of the innings.

But it’s a challenge the 23-year-old understands and is relishing once again.

‘I get told I will be bowling the death overs and I have got used to that,’ he said.

‘It’s something I enjoy and I think that is the key.

‘You have to enjoy it or you will be on the back end of more losses than wins if you go in there with fear.

‘I think you have to enjoy that pressure.

‘If you shy away from anything like that in any sport you will probably be on the end of a defeat.

‘We are all here for a reason. We believe we are good enough, so you have to get on and do it.’

Now a mainstay of the Hampshire attack, Wood has thrived on the responsibility of bowling in the final overs.

Although, he believes so-called death bowling is not something you can practice.

He said: ‘It’s more of a feel factor with death bowling.

‘If you know you have done well in one game, you remember how you felt in that situation and take more confidence from that.

‘Some people say “why don’t you bowl death bowling in the first six overs?”

‘But if you do that, you find you don’t get many wickets and the key to t20 is taking wickets up front.

‘If you can get a team three or four down in the first six overs, you will probably win the game.’

He added: ‘Being involved in finals day is what all cricketers want.

‘Last year, I was only going to have one of two feelings at the end of it.

‘I would have felt like I lost it and let the whole team down or that I’d won it for the guys.

‘It was my lucky day.’