Hampshire ground sorry Eagles

Fidel Edwards celebrates his early wicket. Picture: Neil Marshall
Fidel Edwards celebrates his early wicket. Picture: Neil Marshall
Action from the 2000 match between Hampshire and Kent - the last played at Burnaby Road

WATCH: Dave Allen's First XI memories of Hampshire cricket in Portsmouth

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Hampshire finally kick-started their season last night, courtesy of an explosive knock by an experience head.

Jimmy Adams has so often dug his county out of trouble during his 13 years in the first team.

And he was at his best again, smashing an unbeaten 55 in just 25 balls against a shell-shocked Essex bowling attack.

His barrage paved the way for a 17-run win in the opening encounter of Hampshire’s NatWest T20 Blast south group campaign.

It was also the Ageas Bowl outfit’s maiden success of the summer after a stuttering start to their County Championship division one return.

A timely boost then for a side short on confidence.

But after a breezy opening stand of 63 between Michael Carberry (36) and James Vince (32), there were fears of another capitulation.

Adams was determined not to let the opportunity pass them by, though.

He announced himself at the crease with consecutive fours off Jesse Ryder.

The left-hander then struck Adeel Malik into the stands before drilling Shaun Tait through the covers and cutting him over backward point for a six as he raced to 32 off just 10 balls.

David Masters was next in the firing line for the Eagles, with Adams picking up a slower ball over midwicket for four.

By the time he reached his half-century with a single, Essex were rocking.

Owais Shah chipped in with 32 against his old club and helped the final total to 173 for four.

The target looked a tough ask even before Chris Wood (two for 37) bowled Ryder in the second over.

Fidel Edwards (one for 26) then ripped out Nick Browne’s middle stump to leave Essex five for two.

And despite a superb 68 off 44 balls by Ryan ten Doeschate, there was no coming back.