Hampshire send rivals back to school

Danny Briggs, right. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography

Danny Briggs, right. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography

Tom Alsop hit an unbeaten century. Picture: Neil Marshall

Tommy guns down the Spitfires

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Danny Briggs stole the show for Hampshire as they destroyed Middlesex at Merchant Taylors’ School in the Natwest T20 Blast.

The slow left-armer collected superb figures of three for 20, while Will Smith chipped in again with two for 24 as the home side were stopped from getting anywhere near Hampshire’s mighty target of 198 for two.

Chasing that kind of total with a run-rate at just about 10 runs per over from the start of an innings was always going to be a big ask for a Middlesex side that has struggled so far this term.

But Briggs, who took a superb caught-and-bowled chance to dismiss Dawid Malan (23) with his first delivery, was at his miserly best as he then accounted for Neil Dexter (five) and John Simpson (10) as the hosts’ innings eventually spluttered to 151 for nine.

That sealed victory by 47 runs for Hampshire – a real thumping by t20 standards.

The game looked in Hampshire’s grasp from an early point after another impressive batting display as they picked up where they left off at Hove on Friday.

Again, skipper James Vince was the pick of the bunch with a classy 68 from just 38 balls that included 10 fours and two sixes.

His opening stand of 108 with Jimmy Adams (38) inside 10 overs was the perfect platform.

And while Hampshire may be a touch disappointed they didn’t go beyond 200, 198 always looked like it would be far too many.

After Adams had been unfortunate to be stumped and Vince departed, Adam Wheater (30 not out) picked up the baton, while Owais Shah (49 not out) was in imperious form.

The former England man looked a shade rusty in his debut at Sussex as he failed to hit a boundary.

But he needed just 26 balls to amass his runs yesterday, clattering three fours and three sixes and has yet to be dismissed in a Hampshire shirt – a great habit.

In reply, Middlesex raced away to 57 without loss at the end of the powerplay but when Briggs struck to remove Malan, Paul Stirling (40) followed soon afterwards and it was all downhill from there for the home side.

In truth, it was an easy win for Vince’s team.

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