McKenzie: We have it all to do again

Neil McKenzie
Neil McKenzie
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Neil McKenzie insists Hampshire do not hold a psychological advantage over Durham as they travel north for their vital Championship clash.

The Rose Bowl outfit outclassed the division one leaders in the Friends Life t20 quarter-final win on Sunday as McKenzie top scored and Danny Briggs picked up five wickets.

But while Hampshire have cruised effortlessly to t20 finals day later this month, they still await their first Championship victory of the year.

And time is running out in their bid to avoid relegation to division two.

Hampshire need to win three of their remaining six games to stand even the slightest chance of surviving.

And McKenzie knows what happened on Sunday will be almost irrelevant when today’s action starts.

He said: ‘They are two very different formats.

‘You might think it’s easier going there knowing you’ve beaten them.

‘Although, I don’t think it gives you too much confidence in terms of the four-day competition.

‘They are a formidable unit and we will have to play really well.

‘We can’t kid ourselves. We’ve got a big game against Worcester who are fighting relegation with us.

‘But the rest are at the top of the table and I’m sure they’re looking at us and thinking they’ve got some points to take off us.’

Hampshire’s hopes have not been helped by the decision of the ECB pitch panel to deduct eight points for a supposedly poor playing surface – despite it providing one of the most exciting four-day games in years at the Rose Bowl in the draw with Nottinghamshire.

While the draw with Yorkshire last time out saw both sides ease past 500 in their first innings – and McKenzie and Michael Carberry post their record-breaking partnership of 523 – it did little for the club’s hopes of climbing out of trouble.

Manager Giles White said: ‘We scored some runs in the last Championship game and it only takes a couple of wins and things can change very quickly.

‘We’ve got to believe that and we will go up to Durham hoping to cause an upset.

‘We know we need to win games. We want to get results and we will try to create the right wicket to do that in our next home game.

‘We were punished by the ECB but we’re not going to cry about it.

‘We’ve moved on and we need to find a couple of wins somehow.

‘We’ve got some games coming up against top-of-the-table sides.

‘They will obviously want to win against us but we see that as an opportunity to take some points ourselves.’

Meanwhile, the club have refused to comment on a reported move for Essex skipper James Foster, insisting any transfer negotiations will remain confidential.