Liam Dawson can play key role against loan club

Liam Dawson. Picture: Neil Marshall
Liam Dawson. Picture: Neil Marshall
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LIAM DAWSON could prove to be a vital insider for Hampshire as they host Esssex today.

The all-rounder opted to join the Chelmsford outfit on loan recently after losing his first-team place at the Ageas Bowl.

Although he was out of the plans at the time, he was quickly recalled by his parent club after four appearances and less than a fortnight away.

But since his return, he has delivered some important performances – particularly with the ball – to cement his place.

Alongside young leg-spinner, Mason Crane, he is the club’s leading wicket-taker in the 50-over format with nine victims so far.

And he appears to have rediscovered some confidence.

Now playing against a team he represented briefly, the 25-year-old could yet hold a vital advantage as Hampshire bid to chalk up another win in the competition.

Although they are currently second in group B, Essex are level on points so it represents an important clash in attempting to make the quarter-finals.

After the abandonment at Glamorgan on Sunday because of a dangerous pitch, Hampshire will be determined to boost their bid with a win.

They picked up one point for a ‘no result’, although they are still pursuing their claims for the full two points.

Director of cricket, Giles White, said: ‘It was unfortunate what happened.

‘It would have been nice to get two wins out of two over the weekend but sadly we didn’t get that opportunity.

‘But now the focus moves on to the Essex game.

‘We are just starting to build up a bit of momentum in this format and we need to keep that going for as long as we can.’

Hampshire have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the fixture and look set to stick with the same side for the third game running.

Yasir Arafat, Gareth Berg and Danny Briggs were the men to miss out at Cardiff and there must be a big temptation to stick with the side that blew Middlesex away on Saturday with their 10-wicket demolition.

A similar result to that one would put them right on course for qualification.