Royals back on song

Hampshire bowler Sohail Tanvir celebrates the wicket of Chesney Hughes. Picture: Robin Jones
Hampshire bowler Sohail Tanvir celebrates the wicket of Chesney Hughes. Picture: Robin Jones
Tom Alsop. Picture: Neil Marshall

Hampshire crushed in T20 by Somerset

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As Giles White and Jimmy Adams continue to scratch their heads over Hampshire’s four-day failings, perhaps there is an easy solution: Tell the players to wear their coloured kit under their whites.

Those same players who look shorn of form and confidence in the County Championship look extremely hard to beat in a limited-overs game at the moment.

And their 46-run victory over Derbyshire at the Ageas Bowl was further evidence there is a serious gulf between the way they are playing in the different formats.

Some will argue there is a massive difference between the games and different skills are required.

But perhaps Hampshire are simply better suited to the more aggressive brand of cricket they continue to churn out in the 40-over game.

If that’s the case, why not try to replicate it in the four-day competition?

While over the longer course, they may retreat into a negative outlook, in this version of the game, they simply keep attacking – and it seems to work.

Their total of 277 for eight – their highest 40-over total for two years – was far too many for a limited Derbyshire side who never looked likely to mount a successful chase.

And the strange part was nobody in the Royals side hammered a century this time.

Michael Carberry (53) looks imperious up against a white ball, whereas he has struggled for runs of late when a red ball is coming down at him.

He set the tone once again before useful contributions from Neil McKenzie (38), Liam Dawson (34) and a fabulous knock from Adam Wheater, who hit 70 from just 41 balls.

The former Essex wicketkeeper is another who has yet to hit the heights in the Championship this season.

But this innings suggested there is plenty more to come from him over the rest of the campaign as he peppered the boundary. In reply, Chesney Hughes (12) was the first of Sohail Tanvir’s three victims as the Pakistani seamer underlined his one-day credentials – especially with a late flurry.

He looks like he will be a very useful man to have around in the nail-biting final few overs of a Friends Life t20 clash, especially with his yorkers and clever slower balls.

But once the classy veteran Shiv Chanderpaul (25) was run out and Dawson (two for 32) picked up a couple of important scalps, there was only ever going to be one winner.

The victory took the Royals back to the top of group B.

And on this evidence, they look like they are in no mood to give up the title they won in such dramatic circumstances at Lord’s last September.