HAMPSHIRE captain James Vince admitted his side were off the pace in their six-wicket T20 Blast defeat by Sussex at the Ageas Bowl.
It was a first defeat in the competition this season for the Ageas Bowl side after starting with three straight wins.
Vince is happy Hampshire have a quick chance to make amends against Essex at Chelmsford tonight.
He insists it will take a far better performance to get back to winning ways.
Hopefully they will be able to return to the form that saw them start the competition so well.
The skipper said: ‘It wasn’t our night (against Sussex) and it was the first time we haven’t got off to a good start with the bat.
‘We never really recovered from that.
‘The pitch was slightly different to the ones we have been playing on and Sussex, to give them credit, bowled well up front.
‘We were probably 20 or 30 runs short of giving ourselves a good chance.
‘The wicket had a bit more of a tennis ball bounce about it and losing early wickets meant we were always on the back foot.
‘It is going to happen occasionally in T20, especially the way we try and make use of the first six overs.’
The writing was on the wall for the home side when they found themselves struggling at 45 for four at the end of the power play.
The one positive of the night, however, was the batting of Tom Alsop, drafted in to replace the rested Michael Carberry.
He began his innings with two successive sixes before settling down to anchor the Hampshire innings.
Vince was full of praise for his contribution in a difficult situation.
‘With the way the pitch was he used the pace of Tymal Mills well at the start,’ said the Hampshire captain.
‘It settled him down and he played proper shots to find the boundary when he needed to.
‘He fully deserves to get another chance.
‘We just needed someone to stay with him and get 30 or 40 runs.’
Hampshire’s total of 126 for nine was always going to be difficult to defend, though an early breakthrough gave them a glimmer of hope.
That was soon snuffed out, however, as Hampshire failed to match the Sussex bowling.
‘Add another 20 to our total, getting us around the 150 mark then we might have had a game,’ said Vince.
‘The guys gave it a decent enough shot in the field but early overs went for a few runs.
‘We were a bit off the pace in all disciplines.
‘The way Sussex bowled up front was a lesson of how to bowl in the first six overs.
‘We gave them a few runs to get going and once they had 50 plus off the power play it relieved the pressure.
‘Luckily we have the chance to go again tonight against Essex before taking Surrey on at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday.’