Dawson Dazzles In T20 Blast Victory

Liam Dawson scored 76 runs and took 4-23, as Hampshire secured a 25-run victory over Glamorgan
Liam Dawson continued his terrific white ball form by hitting 76 runs off 54 deliveries and taking 4-23 with the ball, as Hampshire defeated Glamorgan by 25 runs in a memorable NatWest T20 Blast encounter at the Ageas Bowl.
Dawson's inspired 76-run knock helped the home side set a target of 168 runs for the Welsh side, and his four-fer restricted the visitors from matching Hants' total, sealing their second home victory in the competition.
On a difficult day for everyone at the club, 19-year-old Joe Weatherley (43) entertained the Ageas Bowl crowd with a thrilling contribution, hitting three boundaries and two maximums, having recently made his T20 debut in Hampshire's trip to Essex.  
Hampshire were intially pegged back by Glamorgan, as Wagg removed Tom Alsop (6) and Sean Ervine (0) in the third over, then Hogan took Wheater (14) to give the visitors the initiative.
Dawson changed the whole complexion of the game with his role in two telling partnerships, first with Pakistan All-rounder Shahid Afridi (25 off 18), finding the boundary impressively and providing much needed resolve for the home side.
Finishing the powerplay on 45-3, Hants raced to 57 with three successive Afridi fours in the 7th over and were 72-4 after ten overs, as 'Boom Boom' mistimed a pull to Wagg and his 46-run partnership with Dawson was ended.
Dawson was dropped in the 14th over, attempting to scoop the ball over Shaun Tait and onto the boundary - then on 29 runs - and Glamorgan were punished as the England man went on to hit 76 runs off 54 balls, including four boundaries and two spectacular sixes.
His partnership with Weatherley was as devastating for Glamorgan as it was entertaining for the Ageas Bowl crowd; the pair batted with freedom and compiled 78 runs together as Hampshire climbed to 148-5.
Dawson hit three consecutive boundaries off a bizarre final over, which saw Hampshire take 17 runs and Lewis McManus (0) clean-bowled, finishing 167-6. 
Chasing a 168-run target, Glamorgan's opening pair put on 51 runs together, but Hampshire's bowlers dramatically enhanced their position in the game, reducing the visitors to 61-4. 
Dawson displayed his ability as a genuine all-rounder by taking two wickets in his first over, expertly clean-bowling Lloyd (18) and finding an edge from Ingram (0). His inspired performance was rewarded with figures of 4-23. 
Brad Taylor played a large role, taking two wickets of his own and claiming the key wicket of Wallace (45), as Hants confirmed their dominance in the match by reducing Glamorgan to 78-5 after 12 overs. 
When Meschede (17) and Wagg (25) also fell to Dawson at 118-7, there was only one Man of the Match contender and one outcome on the cards. It is no wonder the Hampshire all-rounder has caught the eye of England selectors - his performance exhibited the versatility and confidence of an established international player.
New signing Gavin Griffiths and 19-year-old Brad Wheal sealed the memorable victory with some tight bowling, preventing the visitors from hitting 35 required off the final over. 
Hampshire will look to secure back-to-back victories in the NatWest T20 Blast when they travel to Hove tomorrow, taking on local rivals Sussex Sharks.