Match Preview - Gloucestershire v Hampshire
12 August 2019
Gloucestershire return to the Bristol County Ground with hope of returning to winning ways in the Vitality Blast as they take on sixth placed Hampshire.
Richard Dawson’s men have won two of the last three games in the competition, just losing out to Middlesex at Radlett on Sunday after play was stopped due to adverse weather. That loss saw Gloucestershire drop out of the qualification places and into fifth, one point behind local rivals Somerset.
A win against Hampshire at home would move The Shire above Somerset with an important showdown taking place at the Cooper Associates County Ground on Friday.
Dawson’s side have managed to stick with the best teams in the South Group despite having to deal with untimely injuries. Top of he table Sussex beat Gloucestershire at the Bristol County Ground in somewhat fortuitous fashion, second placed Middlesex have shared the spoils with The Shire and Kent were undone thanks to last minute heroics from Benny Howell.
Unfortunately for Dawson, Howell will be unable to take part in tomorrow’s game against Hampshire having sustained a hamstring injury against Surrey.
In Benny’s absence, seam bowlers David Payne, Chris Liddle and Andrew Tye will be tasked with picking up wickets. Chris Liddle added two more to his tally against Middlesex bringing his total to six in 12 overs for the tournament.
Minus Howell, Payne has been Gloucestershire’s most economical bowler with an average of 6.71 including an impressive performance against Surrey in which he gave up just three runs an over.
The Club have announced the signing of all-rounder Zak Chappell on loan from Nottinghamshire for the remainder of the T20 competition. He is eligible to play in tonight's game.
Dawson alluded to the team’s need for higher contributions from the top order batsmen who have scored in bunches but found themselves out earlier than he would like.
“We’ve been putting scores on the board that we can scrap away at, but for us to get to that 200 mark we really need someone to kick on in that top four or five.
It’s pretty much like when we got to the back end of the 50-over competition and needed to win every game. It’s the little things that are going to contribute to us possibly winning those games.”
Gloucestershire’s 14-man squad to face Hampshire:
Klinger, Hammond, Cockbain, Bracey, Higgins, J Taylor, Tye, Smith, van Buuren, Payne, Dent, Liddle, Price, Chappell.
Hampshire haven’t enjoyed great success in this year’s competition to date, their only wins coming in a one-week span against Somerset, Essex and Glamorgan. What Gloucestershire supporters should be wary of is all three of those wins have come away from the Ageas Bowl.
In their last three matches only James Vince has surpasses 25 runs in an innings when he made 44 in a loss to Kent Spitfires. Chris Wood has been a useful bowler and the most economical for Hampshire, only allowing 6.77 runs per over. 32-year-old South African Kyle Abbot is their leading wicket taker with 12 so far in the competition.