Hampshire’s hard-fought win at Sussex on Saturday suggests the county are capable of grinding out results as they look to claim a first one-day trophy since 2012.
Half-centuries for Hashim Amla and Gareth Berg helped them over the line by just two wickets, making it six List A matches unbeaten against Sussex.
This is a highly competitive South Group that will require strong resolve in order to progress, and Hampshire’s task has become more difficult with Kyle Abbott unable to lead the attack with an ankle injury.
It provides an opening for Surrey, who will be desperate to secure the Royal London One-Day Cup trophy having been runners-up in each of the past three seasons.
They began their campaign in disappointing fashion, suffering an eight-wicket defeat to Somerset having been bowled out for just 129.
Surrey’s poor start won’t be of too much concern given that they haven’t won an opening List A game since 2013, the final season of the 40-over competition, although defeat in Southampton would set off alarm bells.
Hampshire have beaten Surrey in their last three home List A encounters dating back to 2011, with neither side winning away from home since then.
Reece Topley’s injury record saw him sign a white-ball only contract for 2018, and he began his season with a pair of wickets at Sussex. His presence completes a well-rounded bowling unit with his left-arm seam joining an attack that features pace, swing, and spin going both ways. At 6ft 7in he’s an intimidating prospect and his variations are well-honed for limited overs cricket. If he wants a chance to play red-ball cricket again, strong performances all the way through this season will be critical.
Despite being Surrey’s only overseas player to play so far this season, Dean Elgar has been somewhat overshadowed by other big-name signings at The Oval — Morne Morkel and Virat Kohli. It hasn’t helped that Elgar is yet to deliver a hundred for Surrey in either this spell or during his three appearances in 2015. But he passed 50 for Somerset ten times last season including three centuries and would surely love to channel some of that form at The Ageas Bowl.
Hampshire name an unchanged squad from their trip to Sussex. Sam Northeast, Liam Dawson (finger) and Kyle Abbott (ankle) are still sidelined with injury.
Hampshire squad: James Vince (c), Lewis McManus (wk), Jimmy Adams, Tom Alsop, Hashim Amla, Gareth Berg, Mason Crane, Fidel Edwards, Rilee Rossouw, Chris Sole, Brad Taylor, Reece Topley, Joe Weatherley, Brad Wheal, Chris Wood
Surrey name the same team that suffered defeat to Somerset, with Ryan Patel and Freddie Van Den Bergh making up the 13. Mark Stoneman (England), Jason Roy and Tom Curran (both IPL) all remain unavailable while this game comes too soon for Morne Morkel, who is nearing match fitness following the side strain he picked up in his final Test appearance.
Surrey squad: Rory Burns (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Gareth Batty, Scott Borthwick, Rikki Clarke, Sam Curran, Jade Dernbach, Dean Elgar, Will Jacks, Stuart Meaker, Ryan Patel, Ollie Pope, Freddie Van Den Bergh
Weather and conditions
Isolated showers are possible but a warm Monday afternoon is in prospect, with cloud cover set to accompany temperatures reaching 20 degrees on the south coast.
Date: 21st May 2018
Ground: The Ageas Bowl
Odds (SkyBet): Hampshire 4/5, Surrey 1/1