Sohail Tanvir lauded the efforts of Chris Wood after Hampshire took a major step towards the YB40 semi-finals with victory over Essex at the Ageas Bowl yesterday.
The Pakistan pace bowler insisted his team-mate’s late flurry with the bat – 41 from 30 deliveries, including six fours and one six – tipped the game in the Royals’ favour.
And with a competitive total of 216 on the board, Tanvir cashed in – ripping out three early wickets on his way to figures of four for 29 as the Eagles fell 30 runs short on 186 all out.
The second of his scalps was England all-rounder Ravi Bopara, a man the Hampshire left-armer had picked out as a key man.
‘That was a really crucial game for us,’ said Tanvir.
‘Ravi Bopara was the most dangerous, for me, so it was really nice to get him out.
‘I hope it will make it easier for us to get into the semi-finals.
‘Credit goes to Woody for the way he played, especially when the ball was reversing.
‘It was not easy to handle on a slow pitch but he was the one who gave us a platform to defend.’
James Vince had earlier struck 68 from 75 balls, while former Essex keeper Adam Wheater notched 38 from 51 to allow Hampshire to go on the attack with the ball.
‘When you are defending you definitely need early wickets to help put the pressure on,’ said Tanvir.
‘We decided we would attack with the new ball and put them on the back foot.
‘And with me taking three wickets in three overs it was a good start!
‘We were never safe, though. Until you get the last wicket you have not beaten a side.’