Royals aim to make most of home comforts

Dominic Cork celebrates the final wicket in Hampshire's crushing win over Sussex on Monday night. Picture: Michael Jones
Dominic Cork celebrates the final wicket in Hampshire's crushing win over Sussex on Monday night. Picture: Michael Jones
Jonny Bairstow, right, thanks skipper Eoin Morgan. Picture: Neil Marshall

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

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Five teams have tried – none have succeeded.

With Hampshire still unbeaten at home in the Friends Life t20 south group this season, first-team manager Giles White believes his Royals are making the Rose Bowl a daunting place for opposing teams to visit.

Next to attempt a raid on the country’s newest Test venue are Kent Spitfires, with the hosts gunning for a ninth t20 home win on the bounce – extending a run which dates back to last July.

He laughed: ‘We’ve been okay here haven’t we?

‘We’re making it hard for opposition to come to the Rose Bowl and that’s what you want from a home ground.

‘I think t20 cricket is similar to football.

‘You want to perform well at your home ground, win your home games and then get a couple of away wins and you’re in with a shout.

‘Kent are on a bit of a roll, they’ve had some good results themselves.

‘They are a good dangerous side, so we’ll have to be at our best again.

‘It comes down to us performing as a unit. If we perform well, we feel we’ve got a chance against anyone.’

Despite the Royals holding a commanding position at the top of the south group, White is refusing to get carried away and insists his team are taking it all in their stride.

‘We’re taking it one game at a time – that old cliche – one game at a time’, said the former Hampshire batter.

‘You’ve still got to play good cricket, that’s the key.

‘You turn up to t20 cricket and it could go either way.

‘We’re lucky to have the players who can perform at this level and it’s not just about one or two players, it’s about all 11.

‘We’ve got match-winners all the way through, in my opinion.

‘If we’re really good then hopefully we can play some really good cricket.’

A win against the Spitfires would edge Hampshire closer to the quarter-finals.

And White believes it’s important for his side to make the most of their current hot streak.

‘We won’t waste any good form, I think that’s the key,’ he said.

‘If we’re in good form, then we’ve got to make the most of it and when you’re in bad form you’ve got to turn it around as quick as you can.

‘That’s what we try to do. In the changing room we talk about it and in practice we work as hard as we can for it.’