HAMPSHIRE’s exit from the Royal London One-Day Cup will be confirmed if they lose to Essex at Chelmsford on Wednesday night – following a second wash-out in four days.
At least two wins from three 50-over home games were required this time last week, but Hampshire suffered a second ‘no-result’ tonight, to go with their defeat against Leicestershire.
Hampshire’s openers, Michael Carberry and Sean Terry, made 42-0 from 25 balls after losing the toss but the must-win clash against Worcestershire, reduced to 17 overs per side and delayed till 7.15pm following several heavy showers, was finally abandoned following another downpour.
Carberry thumped two sixes, over square-leg and mid-wicket, during his 17-ball 30 before the players ran for cover.
A share of the points means Hampshire remain second from bottom of Group A, needing wins at Chelmsford and in the final round of games at home to Yorkshire a week on Thursday, to have any chance of qualifying for their second quarter-final of the season.
Coach Dale Benkenstein said: “It’s out of our hands, but not out of our reach. The point keeps us in it but we obviously have to win the next two and then things have to go our way. But at least there’s a glimmer of hope.”
Hampshire will hope to pull off a similar result to last month's victory at Chelmsford that helped confirm their place in the T20 last eight.
“We’ve played good cricket in the other formats but getting our 50-over cricket going’s been a bit of a struggle, we haven’t found a consistency in our method in this form,” continued Benkenstein.
“We’re a side that can do well in the competition but haven’t found our feet. It’s quite a short competition with a few changes to it [since counties last played 50-over cricket in 2009].
“If we win our last two we’ve got a chance but if we don’t qualify I still want us to play good cricket and try to find a winning formula going into next year.
“But there have been positives. Sean Terry’s shown some promise, Carbs is really hitting the ball well and we’ve still got everything to play for.
“And while we’ve been inconsistent one thing I’ve learnt is that when it comes to important games and hard situations the team tends to stick together which is quite an unusual attribute to have.
“I’ve played in teams that have done completely the opposite at times.”
Meanwhile, Hampshire have handed a development contract until the end of the season to seamer Basil Akram.
The 21 year-old has taken a few wickets for the Second XI in recent weeks and provides useful seam back-up with David Balcombe (knee) injured and Kyle Abbott’s stint at an end.
Benkenstein added: “I’ve only seen him bowl in the nets but he’s had good reviews from the second team guys, [coaches] Craig White and Charlie Freestone, and Giles [White] has watched him.
“He’s got a lot to prove but if someone gets injured he’s next in.”