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Hampshire v Essex Eagles (T20 Blast)

Friday 15 May 2015

Jimmy Adams Blasts Hampshire To Opening T20 Win

Hampshire Run Out Winners By 17 Runs Over Essex

Adams struck some hefty blows on his way to the quickest T20 half-century of his career and good support from Michael Carberry (36), James Vince (32) and Owais Shah (32) helped the hosts post an excellent first-innings total of 173-4.

In reply, Hampshire’s bowling unit dominated the Essex top order, with wickets shared around the home-side bowling unit – Yasir Arafat (3-27), Danny Briggs (2-33), Chris Wood (2-37), Fidel Edwards (1-26) and Will Smith (1-28) all picking up crucial wickets.

Ryan ten Doeschate (68) was the only positive to be taken from Essex’s innings, as the batsman, who had flown in to the UK from the IPL for the fixture less than 24 hours previously, was the last man to fall in a dominant home victory.

Hampshire began their innings in positive fashion as a number of well-timed strokes from Carberry and Vince helped the visitors reach 45-0 inside the opening six powerplay overs.

The former was unfortunate to pick out deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Adeel Malik (1-29), but the impressive start was continued by the arrival of Adams.

The Club Captain looked in superb form as he timed the ball magnificently early on. The departure of Vince didn’t hamper the left-hander as Adams continued to deal some hefty blows to the visitors.

He was aided by the equally aggressive Shah who also found boundaries easy to come by before he too departed, with Adams on 49 and the score 154-3.

With just two overs remaining, Adams continued his strong performance with some more scintillating stroke-play, the 34-year-old helping the hosts reach 173-4 after their allotted 20 overs.

In reply, Essex stuttered early on with early wickets falling at the hands of Wood and Edwards. The latter sent Browne’s (1) stumps cartwheeling with his very first delivery for Hampshire in the NatWest T20 Blast competition after Wood had dismissed danger-man Jesse Ryder (1) in his first over.

Wickets fell regularly as Smith, Briggs and Arafat picked up the important scalps of Smith (30), Velani (21) and Foster (7) and with nine overs to go, Essex were just 79-4.

Essex skipper ten Doeschate provided a small glimmer of hope for the away-side, his well-made half-century the only offer of resistance to a fine Hampshire bowling display.

Callum Taylor (0) and Graham Napier (13) were the next men to depart, Briggs and Wood picking up their second wickets of the innings to leave the visitors 135-7.

Ten Doeschate continued to add to his total but with any real support lacking, and with Essex losing two more quick wickets at the hands of Arafat and some good fielding from Liam Dawson, the required rate climbed.

The Essex captain was the final man to go, as Arafat claimed yet another important wicket to seal an impressive victory for the home-side.

Words: Will Brewster

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