Daddy Briggs is back

Danny Briggs. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography
Danny Briggs. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography
England's Mason Crane will make his England Test debut when the fifth Ashes Test begins at Sydney Cricket Ground tonight

Root: Hampshire talent will embrace Ashes debut

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New dad Danny Briggs 
will be given a welcome breather – when he returns to the Hampshire side for tonight’s Natwest T20 Blast clash.

The Hampshire spinner missed last week’s narrow defeat against Somerset to attend the birth of his son Stanley, who eventually arrived safe and well on Sunday.

Briggs has since been undertaking the obligatory crash course in parenting but the bleary-eyed bowler will be back doing what he knows best tonight.

So he will ditch the nappies and bottles and instead try to take care of Gloucestershire batsmen.

His absence was sorely missed in last week’s one-run defeat at Taunton as Hampshire had to make do without his control and intelligence in the middle overs.

Briggs is also the leading wicket-taker for Hampshire with 11 victims in the competition so far.

Will Smith took on the role of premier spinner as Sean Ervine and James Vince attempted to sneak a few overs in.

But it left Hampshire chasing a target that was at least 20 runs higher than it should have been.

And although they came close to snatching victory at the death with Smith and Adam Wheater turning in a fine effort, skipper Vince is eager to get his side back to winning ways.

Vince said: ‘There are a few teams near the top of the table who have won the majority of their matches, so it’s important we get another win against Gloucestershire.

‘We didn’t play our best cricket at Taunton.

‘So to get so close to the win is a real credit to Smudge (Will Smith) and Wheats (Adam Wheater) and I 
think it showed how strong we are.’

Gloucestershire have managed just two wins from six games so far and are second from bottom of the south division, while Hampshire are second in the table with four wins out of six.

Hamish Marshall remains the Gloucestershire dangerman with 202 runs so far in this year’s competition.

But Ian Cockbain has also shown he can do some serious damage with a fine 84 in their recent clash at Sussex.