Hampshire play it safe with Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn. Picture: Neil Marshall
Dale Steyn. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Hampshire saw their Vitality Blast south group fixture with Essex at the Ageas Bowl washed out on Sunday.

Persistent rain meant only 47 balls were possible – with the visitors reduced to 72 for four after being asked to bat by James Vince.

The result mattered little to the sides – with neither able to qualify for the knockout stages of the twenty20 competition.

Hampshire chose not to risk South Africa paceman Dale Steyn – as they look ahead to the resumption of the County Championship next Sunday.

And Lewis McManus was recalled to boost the batting.

White said: ‘With the forecast we thought we were going to have to watch the rain all day.

‘But we got a couple of overs in and we chipped away.

‘We took a few wickets and, overall, had a good start.

‘We brought Lewis into the side as we were a little light on the batting.

‘Dale had a little niggle so it wasn’t worth risking him ahead of next Sunday’s four-day game.

‘We are low on resources at the moment and Lewis was the next batter in.’

Hampshire captain Vince won a delayed toss and elected to bowl – with the game reduced to 18 overs per side.

With the fourth ball, Adam Wheater skied a delivery from his former team-mate Chris Wood – with Gareth Berg completing a simple catch at mid-off.

Varun Chopra then deposited left-armer Wood into the burger tent on the square leg boundary.

But the bowler had revenge when Chopra cut powerfully to Rilee Rossouw, who pulled off a superb diving catch at backward-point. Essex eased past 50 before Paul Walter was next to depart – bowled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman for 22 from just nine balls.

He was deceived by the mystery spinner’s first ball.

Ryan ten Doeschate was run out by Berg after a mix-up with Dan Lawrence in the wake of a direct hit from Vince.

But as the Essex captain began to walk off the heavens opened and within an hour the sodden outfield left umpires Michael Gough and Graham Lloyd no choice but to call a halt.

Hampshire travel to the Oval to play Surrey on Wednesday night (6.30pm).

And then on Friday they will wind up their Vitality Blast campaign with the visit of Gloucestershire to the Ageas Bowl (6.30pm).