Benkenstein praises Hampshire battlers and vows to build on win
Dale Benkenstein praised the fighting qualities of his Hampshire side as they battled to a nine-run Natwest T20 Blast win over Kent at the Ageas Bowl last night.
The coach believes his side can build on on the win when they travel to take on Glamorgan in Cardiff tonight (6.30pm).
For a long period of the game, Hampshire looked like heading for their second successive defeat.
Batting first, their total of 158 runs looked a below-target score.
But even when Kent made a good start, Hampshire refused to panic and displayed great grit and determination to turn the game back in their favour.
Benkenstein felt it was an important win coming at the end of a difficult week for Hampshire.
‘We needed this win and hopefully it will now help to kick-start our campaign,’ he said.
‘T20 can be a bit ruthless at times if you get on a losing run.
‘It has been a difficult seven days losing our opening T20 game and then the County Championship game both against Middlesex.
‘This had a totally different feel about it.
‘I particularly enjoyed the way we fought for everything in the field when Kent looked like having it in the bag.
‘We hung in there, grabbed a couple of wickets and refused to let Kent get away.
‘When we batted, Michael Carberry stabilised our innings and we picked it up a bit towards the end.
‘Carbs is an experienced player and his assessment was that as the ball got older it became more difficult to score.
‘He thought it might not be straightforward for Kent when they batted.’
Benkenstein also appreciated the value of having his big names available, with the inclusion of James Vince, Darren Sammy and Shahid Afridi.
Vince was back from international duty with England, while West Indian T20 World Cup winning captain Darren Sammy was given his debut.
Afridi was playing his second game after doing well in the opener at Uxbridge.
‘A lot of the success of Hampshire has been lot to do with the local players,’ said Benkenstein.
‘They have been the core of the side but the international stars we have brought in have provided the icing on the cake.
‘We have had a few overseas players who have done much for us but these guys have shown their passion and quality.
‘They have a will to win which is why they have achieved what they have in the game.
‘This win gives me a lot of confidence.
‘There is a belief that we have found a successful pattern.
‘It was also great having James Vince back because he makes a big difference as well.’