Hampshire hopes sink in washout

Hampshire's hopes of a last-gasp assault on the Royal London One-Day Cup knockout rounds were sunk when their clash with Sussex was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Wednesday, 17th May 2017, 8:46 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 10:03 pm
Kyle Abbott. Picture: Neil Marshall

Both sides needed to win the Ageas Bowl encounter – and then hope other results went their way – to be in with a shout of qualification from the south group.

But the south coast rivals were left kicking their heels as heavy rain put paid to those one-day ambitions.

Giles White was not surprised by the outcome of the final pool match, having studied the weather forecasts.

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And Hampshire’s director of cricket admitted his side had not done enough over the past eight games to warrant a place in the play-offs.

White said: ‘We saw this weather a long way out, it has been forecast for a few days.

‘We went into the game with an outside chance – knowing we needed to win.

‘But you look back on the competition and feel like we probably didn’t deserve to go through. We haven’t played our best cricket.

‘On paper we are a good side, however, I have been impressed with the standard of cricket in this competition. There have been a lot of good sides.

‘At times we were not at our best in games we should have won.

And the competition is so short, it only takes a few results not to go your way and you are out.

‘I’m sure other sides who have qualified will feel the same way. There are fine lines.’

Hampshire came into the 50-over competition on the back of a fine start to the season.

They began with a win over Yorkshire at Headingley in County Championship division one.

And followed that up with draws against champions Middlesex and in the return fixture with Yorkshire.

However, it was not all good news as they suffered injuries to the likes of former West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards. Kyle Abbott and Gareth Berg, who were instrumental in the fine four-day start, were called upon to shoulder extra burden as the Hampshire squad was stretched.

And White believes those setbacks hampered his team’s ability to keep the momentum going in the one-day competition.

He added: ‘We started the County Championship strongly and had good results in that format.

‘We had a couple of injuries and then the depth isn’t there.

‘Abbott and Berg have had big workloads and had to play a big part in this competition.

‘We haven’t had the luxury to rotate, which we would have done if the others were available.

‘Although we had wonderful partnerships with the bat in the competition, we didn’t have enough 50 partnerships and contributions all the way down.

‘But if we can get ourselves into that situation, with our quality we will have a lot of success.’