T20 Blast bite-size preview: Hampshire
Known as the Royals last season, though now just as Hampshire, they reached the semi-finals where they lost to Surrey.
<b>Brief Overview:</b> Known as the Royals last season, though now just as Hampshire, they reached the semi-finals where they lost to Surrey. It was a tight game, and a disappointing one, given they'd won their group with eight wins out of 10. They've added some top class signings this season, including IPL superstar Glenn Maxwell.
<b>Venue:</b> The Rose Bowl AKA the Ageas Bowl in Southampton is their home venue, and it's a favourite for T20 international sides as the boundaries are shorter than most. Australia's Aaron Finch made his record-breaking 156 not out there, hitting 14 sixes.
<b>Batsman To Watch:</b> We'll be keeping an eye on 23-year-old James Vince, who is being looked at as an England prospect. He's been in astonishing form, with two big centuries and two half tons in April alone. We'll also be watching Michael Carberry, but he's been called up for England and won't be around much.
<b>Bowler To Watch:</b> Spinner Danny Briggs will prove a big threat in the format, where slow bowlers do a lot of damage with even the newest of balls. He averages under 20 with the ball in T20s and has international experience too.
<b>Overseas Signings:</b> Hampshire scored a major coup when they signed Aussie all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, but they couldn't have known just how good that would turn out to be. He's the leading run scorer in the IPL this year, finding a rich vein of form from nowhere. They've also signed South Africa fast bowler Kyle Abbott, a canny move given his excellent economy rates.
<b>Know Your Mascot:</b> Given they're no longer the Royals, we hope Reginald the lion hasn't been sacked. Or would he have to abdicate? Anyway, he always took great pride in his job, so we hope he's still around to give the kids a royal wave.
<b>Cricket365's Prediction:</b> Sixth in South Division.
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