More to come from Hampshire after fine start to Royal London One-Day Cup defence, says centurion Sam Northeast???????????????????????????????????

Sam Northeast struck a century in Hampshire’s winning start to their Royal London One-Day Cup defence but admitted: We were not at our best.

Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 10:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 10:42 pm
Kyle Abbott celebrates claiming a wicket against Kent. Picture by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

The former Kent batsman smashed an unbeaten 105 on his first return to the Spitfire Ground as the visitors eased to a 90-run triumph in the South Group at Canterbury.

James Vince, who was recalled to the England squad on the same day, and South African Rilee Rossouw also made half-centuries as Hampshire posted 310-9.

Seamers Chris Wood and Kyle Abbott both claimed two wickets – as did spinner Liam Dawson – with Kent skittled out for 220 off 40 overs in reply.

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The two teams met in the Lord’s final last season – and it was Hampshire who came out on top yet again.

However, Northeast insisted they still have much to improve if they are to defend the 50-over title.

And the century-maker praised the reception he received on his first return to Kent since leaving in 2017.

That’s after being booed by some sections of Spitfires supporters as Hampshire lifted the trophy last season.

He said: ‘We played well without ever being right on our A game.

‘It was important to get 300, we felt that was a par score on a really good wicket, so it was a good way to start the competition.

‘I think we can clean up in a few areas, we were a little bit sloppy with the ball in places and, with the bat, we kept losing wickets at crucial moments and had to rebuild. ‘Potentially, we could have gone on to get a bigger score. There were small little things that we might sharpen up.

‘It was nice to get a good reception from the fans here this time, it was home to me for so many years and felt nice to come back and see so many faces and to walk out to no boos. ‘I've played on that wicket enough times to know it pretty well now so all in all, it felt good to be back.’