Hampshire expected to face Andrew Flintoff and Kabir Ali in NatWest T20 Blast semi-final

ANDRE FLINTOFF

ANDRE FLINTOFF

First published in Sport

HAMPSHIRE are expected to face both Andrew Flintoff and Kabir Ali in their T20 Blast semi-final later this month.

And Lancashire could also have England wicket-keeper Jos Buttler available for the Edgbaston showdown on Saturday, August 23.

Former England all-rounder Flintoff and ex-Hampshire seamer Ali missed Lancashire’s T20 quarter-final success against Glamorgan last weekend through injury.

Flintoff lost his race against time to recover from a calf problem.

Ali missed out due to the shoulder injury he suffered in the Royal London One-day Cup defeat to Hampshire at Old Trafford the previous week.

The 33-year-old injured his right shoulder while trying to field a ball at third-man, and he only bowled three overs in Hampshire’s innings before coming out to bat when the game was lost.

Ali certainly won’t play in Lancashire’s RL Cup tie against Essex today, but could return later in the week.

Lancashire will certainly hope to have either Flintoff or Ali available to face Hampshire at Edgbaston on August 23 for a place in the final against either Warwickshire or Surrey.

Buttler could also be made available by England, given that the ODI series against India does not start until the following Monday.

The Red Rose county, however, will almost certainly be without Junaid Khan against Hampshire.

The left-arm seamer is currently at a Pakistan training camp ahead of a Test and one-day series against Sri Lanka.

There is an ODI scheduled for the T20 Blast showpiece.

Hampshire won’t have any sympathy, though, as they are without both their international stars – Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Abbott – for Finals Day.

Khan and Ali are Lancashire’s leading wicket-takers in the T20 Blast this season, with 19 wickets each.

Only four bowlers, including Hampshire’s Danny Briggs, have taken more.

Lancashire, though, will have two overseas players on duty on Finals Day, Australian Test batsman Usman Khawaja and Zimbabwean international bowler Kyle Jarvis.

Khawaja has only played two games in the T20 Blast in 2014, but has top scored on both occasions – including 67 in last weekend’s one-run victory over Glam-organ.

As for Flintoff, the 36-year-old has played just two T20 games since coming out of retirement.

He has batted just once – scoring a single – but has picked up five wickets for 62 runs in his six overs.

Lancashire won their qualifying group to book a home quarter final, while Hampshire finished third in their group.

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