Thursday, June 9, 2011

Briggs Spins Web Around Dragons

Danny Briggs bowled and batted Hampshire to a fourth consecutive victory in the Friends Life t20 against a plucky Glamorgan side.

Having won the toss, the visitors were held tight on the crease and could only muster up a very modest target of 120; Briggs finishing with excellent figures of 4-24.

But following up, Hampshire made harder work of the chase than they might have, losing regular wickets after reaching the 50 mark.

However, that only served to give the crowd a thrilling finish as the Royals won by 2 wickets in the final over; fittingly, Briggs scoring the winning runs.

Having chosen to bat on a damp Rose Bowl outfield, the Dragon’s openers were quick to depart, with Mark Cosgrove (3) dismissed by a Chris Wood run-out after attempting a absurd single with all the men in the circle. Alviro Petersen (14) quickly followed after having his stumps divided in half by a tricky Dominic Cork delivery.

Soon, Hampshire had Ben Wright (8) as Wood struck in his first over with the ball and it looked like trouble on the horizon for the visitors as they were reduced to 52-3 after just eight overs.

Jim Allenby kept the ball moving about the field for Glamorgan but was unable to take the heat from former Dragon Simon Jones as he had him hitting to Cork for an easy catch. Briggs then struck twice, trapping Mark Wallace lbw & forcing David Brown to snick to Pothas in the same over.

The cricket started to get desperate from the visitors as Hampshire had them strangled in the field. Briggs struck again in the 14th over having Graham Wagg driving a regulation catch on the boundary to James Vince.

Briggs wasn’t finished as he also had Robert Croft in his very next over to finish with figures 4-0-24-4. A pesky 19 runs from Chris Cooke helped Glamorgan get past the 100 mark before biting at a Wood delivery for an edge to Pothas; Glamorgan only just seeing out the full 20 overs to set Hampshire 121 for victory.

After the wrecking-ball performance in Canterbury, that should have been a stroll in the park. Even the loss of Jimmy Adams in the first over for a duck couldn’t wobble Hampshire as Vince & Michael Lumb went about punishing the Glamorgan bowlers to the fence, bringing up the Hampshire 50 & a half-century partnership.

And despite losing both shortly after, Hampshire still looked good for the score, even as Benny Howell (2) pushed one into the open hands of Petersen off Dean Cosker.

But then the runs started to dry up as Hampshire accepted just the singles that were on offer. Not long after, the wickets started to fall. Pothas (8) was controversially given run out returning to his crease and Neil McKenzie (23) followed shortly afterwards as he also picked out Petersen in the field for an easy catch.

At 91-6 Glamorgan started to strut about the field as they moved in to finish Hampshire off. But with Cork and Dimi Mascarenhas at the crease still anything was possible. For a while, Mascarenhas (14) kept the Dragons at bay but when Cosgrove bowled him though the gate, and had Wood caught by Chris Cooke all of a sudden all bets were off.

A dramatic finish was in sight as Cork and bowling hero Briggs were left to find the remaining 6 runs needed in two overs. Two singles later, Cosgrove bowled the final over to Briggs as he scuttled the first ball for a well-run two, before late cutting Cosgrove’s second ball to bring up the winning runs.

Part of my work with Hampshire CCC to see orginal article click here

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