Only victory will do for Hampshire in bid to keep hopes of NatWest T20 Blast home quarter-final alive



First published in Sport

HAMPSHIRE should be unchanged as they bid to climb into runners-up spot in their final NatWest T20 Blast South group game in Essex tonight.

Though the county have already assured themselves of a sixth successive quarter-final appearance, a top-two finish would guarantee them a home tie in the last eight.

But even if they win against the current group leaders tonight, Surrey could still overhaul them for second place if they take advantage of their two games in hand.

If Essex bounce back from Sunday’s surprise loss to Gloucestershire, only their second defeat in 12 games, they will win the group.

Main danger for Hampshire tonight will be ex-England man Ravi Bopara, his side’s leading runscorer in the tournament this summer with 380 runs in ten matches at an average of 76.

Hampshire (from): Will Smith, Jimmy Adams, Sean Ervine, Liam Dawson, James Vince (c), Michael Carberry, Danny Briggs, Chris Wood, Matt Coles, Adam Wheater, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Rimmington.

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