Royals won’t let standards slip

Dimi Mascarenhas. Pic: Barry Zee
Dimi Mascarenhas. Pic: Barry Zee
Jonny Bairstow, right, thanks skipper Eoin Morgan. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Dimi Mascarenhas assessed Hampshire’s final Group South match and insisted: We won’t ease up now.

The Royals turned in a clinical destruction of Kent on Monday to record a 62-run success and face Middlesex tonight (7.10pm) in their final group match.

Hampshire cannot be overhauled at the top of the group.

They have already sealed a home quarter-final but Mascarenhas’ was clearly not prepared to let standards slip at Kent, particularly when rare fielding errors occurred.

He warned Middlesex to expect no favours in their quest to join Hampshire in the last eight.

The Royals skipper said: ‘We’re not going to rest anyone or anything like that.

‘The only time we would do that is if someone is injured.

‘Middlesex are a very strong team and if they win, they have got an opportunity to make the quarter-finals as well.

‘But we will be doing everything we can to build our home advantage for the quarter-finals.

‘This game is all about momentum and we want to go into the knockout phase with another win.’

Another big crowd is expected at the Ageas Bowl.

Mascarenhas admits the supporters will play a major role in the last eight showdown, while he is hopeful of signing off his own illustrious career with another Friends Life t20 finals day.

He said: ‘I think it is huge that we have got a home tie.

‘We know we will be up against a good side, whoever it is going to be and we will need to play well to get through.

‘But we enjoy playing there, we know the conditions and the crowd are amazing.

‘So it is an advantage to us but we still know we will have to go out there and play very well in the quarter-finals.

‘We will need another very good performance to go through to finals day.

‘Winning a trophy at any time is good.

‘But it would be great to do it in my last year.’