Captain Cork demands more

Darren Maddy and Rikki Clarke get in a mix-up. Picture: Neil Marshall
Darren Maddy and Rikki Clarke get in a mix-up. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Dominic Cork issued a few angry words to his troops on the Rose Bowl pitch and then told them: We must improve.

The Hampshire skipper cut a frustrated figure both during and after Hampshire’s nail-biting CB40 victory over Warwickshire yesterday – despite seeing his men scrape home by three runs.

Cork was seen handing out a few home truths to his men midway through the Warwickshire innings as the visitors dragged themselves back into a game that should have been over after the Royals registered a mighty 274 for five.

But the former England star spotted some tell-tale signs of complacency creeping into the ranks and has warned his team it cannot be allowed to happen with the Bears so nearly snatching the win.

He said: ‘We put a good score on the board, took three quick wickets and then we just sat back and that’s what we can’t do as a side.

‘We just sat off them a little bit, which I didn’t like.

‘There are certain things that need to get better. As captain, I want things to be better than we were for this game. As a side we need to improve.

‘It wasn’t the perfect performance I would have liked.

‘I had a few words and I tried to make sure people realised we were still in a fight because Warwickshire were not going to lie down.

‘It’s a win and that’s the main thing about it. Whether it was one wicket or one run, we won.

‘There are obviously certain things we’ve got to get right and we are going to sit down and sort out how we’re going to get better.’

Batsman Neil McKenzie, who struck an unbeaten 87, grabbed a vital 24-run bonus in the final over of the Royals innings, which ultimately proved to be the difference.

But he admitted it was much harder than it should have been to seal the victory.

He said: ‘Hampshire have a tradition of making easy wins harder but we will take it.

‘You swing and hope and they all seemed to be reaching the boundary in that final over.

‘It doesn’t happen too often but you have those days sometimes.’

But the South African also played a part in allowing the Bears to get close to their target with one amazing dropped catch to let Darren Maddy build a key partnership with Rikki Clarke.

He smiled: ‘I thought I had it at each attempt!

‘We always seem to make games closer and the dropped catches brought yesterday’s match a lot closer than it should have been.

‘Thankfully, we just about hung on in the end.’