Hampshire win vital in bid to beat drop

Giles White Picture: Neil Marshall
Giles White Picture: Neil Marshall
Shahid Afridi. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Director of cricket Giles White is hoping to use memories of a year ago to keep Hampshire in the Specsavers County Championship division one.

The Ageas Bowl side stayed up by the skin of their teeth in 2015, after overcoming a 16-point deficit to overtake Sussex, by winning at Nottinghamshire.

This time around they are just eight points behind Warwickshire going into today’s seaon finale against Durham at home.

Hampshire know a win will guarantee their survival, with the Bears taking on fellow relegation rivals Lancashire.

White said: ‘It is a slightly better position than last year, but at the end of the day it is the same – we have to win.

‘We will be going in very positive. The boys have played some excellent cricket in the last few months, they haven’t taken a backwards step in challenging circumstances.

‘We were in this situation last year and things worked out for us then. Ideally, we wouldn’t be in this position but we are and we are a win from staying up.

‘Looking at the points table, there are a lot of different connotations there but, simply, if we win we won’t go down, and the boys are looking forward to it.’

White is looking towards his bowlers to step up and back the batsmen to avoid the drop.

‘There have been a few draws recently,’ he said.

‘The batsman have done well and have put us in some good positions but we haven’t had that penetration in the attack at times.

‘We have been missing some international bowlers which makes a difference, but the boys have stuck to their task and worked very hard. If they can continue with that then we should win.’

Durham have England stars Ben Stokes and Mark Wood available.

And White is well aware the duo could do damage in his bid to starve off relegation.

He said: ‘They have some dangerous players. That is something we can’t control, we just have to turn up and play good cricket.

‘We have to be positive, be brave and win the game.’