‘Tough’ time is over for Hampshire

Hampshire's Jimmy Adams. Picture: Robin Jones
Hampshire's Jimmy Adams. Picture: Robin Jones
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Jimmy Adams surveyed the wreckage of Hampshire’s Champions League t20 bid and admitted: We found it tough.

The Royals finished bottom of their three-team qualification pool after a six-wicket defeat to Pakistani outfit Sialkot Stallions in Johannesburg yesterday.

Auckland Aces had effectively eliminated the Ageas Bowl outfit from the competition on Wednesday when they subjected them to an eight-wicket humbling at Centurion.

Hampshire, who lifted the Friends Life t20 title earlier this summer, had travelled to South Africa with high hopes of winning their qualifying pool and reaching the main draw.

However, it was not to be.

And with the English counties opting out of the 2013 Champions League as it clashes with the domestic season, it could be some time before Hampshire get to compete on the world stage again.

Adams, who took the reins from Dimi Mascarenhas for yesterday’s clash, admitted the Royals had not delivered in South Africa.

He said: ‘The guys have found it a bit tough.

‘The batters found it hard to get the runs on the board as the conditions have done a little more than we thought.

‘It is a shame (that counties wont play the Champions League t20 in the future) but it’s out of my hands.

‘We just chug along and play cricket.’

Just as Auckland Aces had done in Hampshire’s first clash, the Stallions won the toss and asked their English rivals to bat first.

The Royals made a far better fist of setting a total this time around, though, as they racked up 143 for eight.

A good start from the likes of Michael Carberry (11), James Vince (18) and Adams (14) set a platform for Glenn Maxwell to take on the Sialkot attack.

And the Aussie all-rounder did not disappoint, smashing 42 in 29 balls – with four fours and three sixes.

Liam Dawson then struck with the fourth ball of the Stallions’ reply to remove Imran Nazir for a duck.

But it proved a false dawn as Haris Sohail (63 not out) and Shoaib Malik (39) shared a stand of 96 in 62 balls to break the Royals’ resolve and seal victory with five balls to spare.