Topley bemoans loss of Hampshire momentum

Michael Carberry top scored for Hampshire with 30. Picture: Neil Marshall
Michael Carberry top scored for Hampshire with 30. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Reece Topley is certain Hampshire can find the right response to consecutive NatWest T20 Blast losses.

But after defeats to Sussex on Thursday night and Essex 24 hours later, the left-arm seamer admits momentum is now against the Ageas Bowl outfit.

Having started the competition with a hat-trick of wins, Hampshire have now slipped to third in the south group table behind in Surrey and Gloucestershire.

On Sunday they host the former, who rose to the summit with a 15-run win over Middlesex and boast Jason Roy, Aaron Finch, Kevin Pietersen and Kumar Sangakkara at the top of their batting order.

Topley said: ‘Twenty20 is a momentum game.

‘Two games in a row the momentum hasn’t been there.

‘It was with us in the first three games – it was going nicely, everyone was hitting their straps.

‘But unfortunately it hasn’t been with us the last two games.

‘We are up against a very strong Surrey side on Sunday.

‘But we can put it right and we need to show people how good we are.

‘That’s the beauty of this competition – you have another chance just around the corner.’

Hampshire posted a disappointing 124 for nine at Chelmsford.

After Rilee Rossouw was bowled by Paul Walter for just four, James Vince (29) and Michael Carberry (30) shared a stand of 47 in 25 deliveries.

But the pair were the only members of Hampshire’s batting line-up to get going.

The departure of Carberry, with the score on 84, prompted the loss of six wickets for just 34 runs.

The visitors looked well short of a competitive total and so it proved, as Essex breezed home in 14 overs.

Former Hampshire keeper-batsman Adam Wheater struck an unbeaten 44 off 32 balls and shared a second-wicket stand of 76 with 20-year-old Dan Lawrence.

Lawrence finally offered a return catch to Shahid Afridi (one for 25) but by then the damage was done, with his 47 coming off 33 balls and including seven fours and a six.

With only 47 runs left to get from 10.2 overs, Wheater steered Essex to victory with 36 deliveries remaining.

While the writing was on the wall after the first innings, Topley refused to point the finger at the batsmen.

‘I can’t blame the batsmen because I know how hard the job is,’ he added.

‘But we haven’t yet had a perfect or complete performance from the batsmen and the bowlers.

‘We’re not far away from that and hopefully we can put it all together on Sunday.

‘It’s obviously tricky to go out there when there are not many runs on the board.

‘Against Sussex the fight and spirit we showed was brilliant – it wasn’t there at Chelmsford.’