Historically, Twenty20 has been Hampshire’s strongest format, and their triumph in the Royal London One-Day Cup suggests that their struggles in this tournament have nothing to do with the colour of the ball.
For one reason or another, though, it simply hasn’t clicked for the men in yellow, and they find themselves seventh in the South Group with just one win. It is only the shocking ineptitude of two other sides with impressive Twenty20 pedigree – Middlesex and Essex – that is keeping Hampshire from the wooden spoon.
Glamorgan may hold that unenviable position at the foot of the Division 2 table in the Specsavers County Championship, but they are riding relatively high in this competition and still occupy one of the four quarterfinal spots going into this match.
Big hitting South African Colin Ingram has once again proved the mainstay of Glamorgan’s hopes with the bat, with 46* against Middlesex and 89 against Essex, and this season he has been well-supported by his teammates and they find themselves on a four-game winning streak.
While Hampshire will be looking for a boost to their morale and pride, Glamorgan will be looking to secure progress to the Twenty20 knockouts for the third season in a row. This is a highly impressive record for an unfancied county that has barely competed in the first-class arena in recent years, and it offers them some hope for the uncertain future.
While Cardiff is one of the proposed grounds for the Hundred, many of Glamorgan’s players will find it tough, if not impossible, to get a deal when the teams are decimated in 2020. The next couple of T20 Blast tournaments are a huge opportunity for players to state their cases for a contract.
No matter where you’re from or which side you represent, a big innings or a few wickets on Finals Day could see you bowling a ten-ball over, a five-ball over – or goodness knows what – on the biggest stage of all.
Colin Ingram’s importance to Glamorgan’s fortunes cannot be overstated. Not just in terms of his runs, but his leadership on and off the field has been keeping morale and belief high in a county with a distinctly average record. While debates still simmer about Kolpak signings, the value Ingram adds to his club is undeniable.
James Vince’s England career may be over at the Test level at least, but he is certainly among the brightest stars on the county circuit while facing a white ball. He has been a key part of Hampshire’s success in recent seasons and his eye-catching stylish shots are worth the entrance fee alone if he gets going. And he always gets runs on Sky (except in Test matches).
Glamorgan squad: Colin Ingram (c), Lukas Carey, Kiran Carlson, Chris Cooke, Aneurin Donald, Michael Hogan, Jeremy Lawlor, David Lloyd, Craig Meschede, Andrew Salter, Nick Selman, Ruaidhri Smith, Timm van der Gugten, Graham Wagg
Hampshiresquad: James Vince (c), Kyle Abbott, Tom Alsop, Gareth Berg, Liam Dawson, Fidel Edwards, Jake Lintott, Lewis McManus (wk), Sam Northeast, Rilee Rossouw, Ryan Stevenson, Dale Steyn, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Joe Weatherley, Chris Wood
Weather and conditions
Should be dry and warmish throughout. Bring a jumper but leave the umbrella at home.
Date: 10thAugust 2018
Ground: SWALEC Stadium
Odds (SkyBet): Glamorgan 4/5, Hampshire Evens