It’s crunch time in the Natwest T20 Blast for Hampshire and Glamorgan, as with just three matches remaining, anything is possible in a tight South Group table.
The visitors to Southampton lead the pack, but their advantage is just two points and their position is hardly cemented – it is not inconceivable for them to not even earn a quarter-final berth.
That’s good news for Hampshire, who trail their opponents by three points and know that despite a run that has seen them win just two of their previous eight matches, they remain very much in the hunt.
Such a dire run is mostly the result of poor batting, the team often displaying an inability to set or chase totals, no matter how moderate. Indeed, they have failed to make it past 170 on all but one of the five occasions in which they might have done – and even then they still came up 14 runs short of Somerset’s 204.
Meanwhile, Glamorgan are disciplined, their batting and bowling working in harmony to keep them in good touch.
That opening fixture was the only time they haven’t passed 170 when possible, with their bowlers – anchored by second leading wicket-taker Michael Hogan – adept at defending good totals.
Kyle Abbott has been a destructive force since joining Hampshire during the winter. He has 11 Blast wickets – the joint second most at the county – and 60 in all forms. Abbott’s economy is perhaps a touch surprising: at 9.19 he has gone at more runs per over in the Blast than any of the club’s frontline bowlers. But on a wicket likely to provide more assistance to him than one might typically expect at Southampton, he will be a real handful.
Glamorgan have, by and large, batted well throughout the competition, owing their success in part to Colin Ingram. The number three is the club’s leading run scorer (330) and has racked up two centuries – the only batsman to do so this season. Runs have been hard to come by on sluggish Ageas Bowl pitches this season so, if Ingram can make a score, Glamorgan will be well set.
Hampshire’s Rilee Rossouw and wicketkeeper Lewis McManus were ruled out for the remainder of the season on Wednesday, due to hand and finger injuries, respectively. Tom Alsop is therefore likely to retain his spot in the top order, while either he or second team wicketkeeper Calvin Dickinson will take the gloves.
Hampshire squad: James Vince (c), Kyle Abbott, Jimmy Adams, Shahid Afridi, Tom Alsop, George Bailey, Gareth Berg, Mason Crane, Liam Dawson, Calvin Dickinson, Fidel Edwards, Sean Ervine, Ian Holland, Chris Wood
Glamorgan have named a 13-man squad, with David Miller the only absentee from the squad that travelled to Surrey on Friday, having completed his six-match stint at the club.
Glamorgan squad: Jaques Rudolph (c), Chris Cooke (wk), Lukas Carey, Tom Cullen, Marchant De Lange, Aneurin Donald, Michael Hogan, Colin Ingram, Craig Meschede, Andrew Salter, Nick Selman, Ruaidhri Smith, Graham Wagg
Weather and conditions
The wicket, three strips over from the one used in Hampshire’s Specsavers County Championship match this week, may be a touch green come tonight with two days of rain and a Southern Vipers fixture earlier in the day leaving ground staff just that morning to prepare it. It’ll be a mild night but the sun is set to shine through.
Date: 10th August 2017
Ground: The Ageas Bowl
Umpires: Jeremy Lloyds and David Millns
Odds (SkyBet): Hampshire 10/11, Glamorgan 10/11