HAMPSHIRE play their first T20 match at Lord’s tonight - where they face their former overseas star Kyle Abbott.

After more than a decade of T20 matches at outgrounds like Uxbridge, Richmond and Southgate – and last season’s visit to Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood - Hampshire are back at the home of cricket for the first time since completing the 2012 double.

But this will be their first match against Middlesex there since 2008.

“It’s a long time since we played at Lord’s outside of a domestic final, so it’ll be a lovely to walk out there in front of what will hopefully be a big crowd,” said Jimmy Adams, who top-scored with 55 and 66 as Sussex and Warwickshire were beaten in the 2009 and 2012 one-day finals.

“It’s the first of two very important games and should be another good one. If we can also beat Sussex at the Ageas Bowl on Friday we’ll be in a very strong position.”

Abbott’s five wickets at 18.6 for Middlesex all came in the second of his four games for his second county - in which he took 5-19 against Sussex at Hove three weeks ago.

He was back at Hove to watch his former teammates win their first Championship match of the season last week – when he confirmed his likely return to the Ageas Bowl as a Hampshire player one day.

“That would be wonderful, Kyle’s a good egg and a great guy to have in the changing room, as well as being an outstanding bowler,” said Adams.

“He’s excellent with the new ball and also has great skills at the death with a good yorker and a slower ball.”

South Africa international Abbott, who has joined Middlesex for seven T20 games, had an outstanding World Cup earlier this year, taking nine wickets at just 14 apiece from four matches.

But Hampshire are full of confidence after Friday’s thrilling chase against Kent at Canterbury, where they won by six wickets after reaching their 184-run target with a ball to spare of a match reduced to 18 overs a side.

“A chase like that is always good to have that in the memory bank,” said Adams. “Vincey [99*] brought back memories of the quarter-final win against Notts last year in terms of leading from the front in fairly tricky circumstances after they got more than we felt they should have done.

“We lost a couple of early wickets early on but Slug (Sean Ervine) also played as well as I’ve seen.”

Hampshire will be hoping for a better journey to Lord’s than their trek to Canterbury, which took six hours following an accident on the M25.

“Wheats (Adam Wheater) and Jackson [Bird] left at midday and got there at 2.30pm – but we stopped at a service station and got there three-and-a-half hours later!” laughed Adams.

“It was the worst drive I’ve ever experienced! The only done to compare with it was one from Aberdeen to Scarborough.”

Hampshire’s match at Lord’s begins at 6.15pm with tomorrow’s derby against Sussex at The Ageas Bowl starting at 7pm. Hampshire play their first LV County Championship match at Lord’s for nine years on June 28.