Hampshire host Middlesex in pre-season finale

Jimmy Adams. Picture: Neil Marshall
Jimmy Adams. Picture: Neil Marshall
Andy Gorvin in action with the ball. Picture: Neil Marshall (171025-5)

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Hampshire will put the finishing touches to their preparations for the new season when they host Middlesex at the Ageas Bowl today (11am).

The two-day friendly is the final warm-up game before Worcestershire visit the south coast for the season-opening County Championship clash on Sunday.

Hampshire will once again be targeting a return to the top flight of the four-day game.

Jimmy Adams’ side have struggled to break into the promotion shake-up since they dropped back into the second tier in 2011.

The squad has been boosted by the arrivals of batsmen Will Smith and Joe Gatting as they bid to put that right.

All-rounder Matt Coles and paceman Ruel Brathwaite have penned full deals after impressing on loan last term.

Meanwhile, the club’s best young talents – including England Lions batter James Vince – are back and hungry for more success.

Vince, who has been named vice-captain, will be bidding to further enhance his international credentials.

And Adams insists playing in division two will not harm the chances of him – or any of the other young guns – catching the selectors’ eyes.

‘Success is important,’ said the Hampshire skipper.

‘If your team is going well in whatever competition you are playing, it will help with recognition.

‘We have been in division two for a while now but I think we are seen as a side who should be pushing for a promotion spot.

‘We have had success in one-day cricket but I think it is extremely important to have some four-day success to align with it.

‘It has proved to be a little bit of a longer project than we first thought.

‘But it is still very much at the forefront of our minds.’

Adams and Gatting both hit half-centuries, while Coles took four wickets, in the two-day friendly with Sussex at Hove at the weekend.


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