Weather hits Hampshire hopes

Storm clouds gather over the Ageas Bowl. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography
Storm clouds gather over the Ageas Bowl. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography
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Dale Benkenstein saw Hampshire’s hopes of catching the teams above them scuppered by rain again but declared: We still have a glimmer of hope.

Just four overs of play were possible at the Ageas Bowl for the Royal London One-Day Cup showdown with Worcestershire after the heavy downpours.

The teams were denied any action until 7.15pm, when the scheduled 50-over contest was reduced to 17 overs per side.

Michael Carberry then wasted no time as he peppered the boundary, racing to 30 not out from just 17 balls, with four fours and two sixes.

At the other end, Sean Terry (10 not out) started brightly again as the home side reached 42 without loss.

But just one ball into the fifth over, another mighty deluge ended the game, leaving both sides with one point each.

The no-result left Hampshire needing to win at Essex tomorrow and at home to Yorkshire on Friday to have any hope of reaching the top four to qualify for the quarter-finals.

While the Hampshire coach knows it is looking increasingly unlikely, two victories could still see them sneak through.

Benkenstein said: ‘It’s probably out of our hands but it isn’t out of our reach yet.

‘A point keeps us in it but we obviously have to win the next two games and other results have to go our way.

‘At least there is a glimmer of hope.

‘If we don’t win at Essex, that will definitely be it.’

Although Basil Akram – a 21-year-old seamer – was added to the squad after signing a development contract earlier this week, he was not named in the side.

He has apparently jumped ahead of some of the Academy bowlers like Matt King and Tom Barber, while Raul Brathwaite is clearly not in the frame.

And although Benkenstein admitted he hasn’t seen him bowl in a match situation yet, he revealed he had been signed with David Balcombe still troubled by a knee injury and Kyle Abbott having returned to South Africa.

Benkenstein said: ‘I don’t know a lot about him.

‘With Balcs being injured and Kyle Abbott not here, we are a bit short.

‘He looks a decent cricketer and has had some good reviews from the coaches.

‘Craig White, Charlie Freeston, Tony Middleton and Giles White have watched him.

‘I haven’t seen him bowl in a match yet, although I’ve seen him in the nets.

There are some good things there but obviously, he has a lot to prove.

‘If someone gets injured in the Kent game, he is next in.’