Hampshire vs Worcestershire: Preview and Prediction
Hampshire will be locking horns against Worcestershire in the third quarter-final of the T20 Blast on Friday evening at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground. Thus, Hampshire will be facing the Pears with a home advantage, which can turn out to be crucial for the hosts.
Both sides recorded five losses in their group-stage fixture. Consequently, Hampshire ended its campaign in the second spot in the Southern Confederacy. On the other hand, Worcestershire was in the third position, one point above Nottinghamshire in the Northern Confederacy. Thus, the match acquires the bore to go either way as both County teams have given their best in the group stage in order to book a spot in the quarterfinals.
What have they done so far?
Playing in the Southern Confederacy, Hampshire ended their campaign on the second spot behind table toppers Somerset. They lost five matches, however, they managed to keep a positive run rate in addition to a point difference from the other sides in their group.
Taking a look at their current form, they have recorded four wins in their last five T20 matches in the group stage. Their last match was against Gloucestershire, where they recorded a comfortable win by 8 wickets. Gloucestershire gave James Vince’s side a target of 106, consequently, they managed to end the match in just the 14th over, with 33 balls to spare. Vince was named the player of the match as he scored 55 runs and led his side to a comfortable triumph.
On the other hand, Worcestershire’s current form can be fearsome for their Southern rivals as they have been unbeaten in their last seven T20 fixtures. Their last T20 loss came against Yorkshire, where James Wharton smashed an incredible ton to lead his side toward a total of 224. Trying to win by chasing the mammoth total, the Pears only managed to cumulate 198 runs.
Since then, Worcestershire has been unbeaten, and in their most recent match, they slayed the likes of Derbyshire. Following a brilliant team effort from the top order of the Pears, they affixed a target for 223 for Derbyshire. Nevertheless, Leus du Plooy’s side failed to reach the total as they collapsed at 194 before crossing the 200-run mark.
Taking a look at their overall campaign, the Pears ended their group stage campaign at the third spot behind Warwickshire and Lancashire in the Northern Confederacy. They lost five matches and all of their losses came in the first phase of the group stage. Moreover, they also played a draw against Durham.
Head to Head Record
Interestingly, Hampshire and Worcestershire have locked horns against each other only once in the T20 format. That happened in 2015 when the league was known as the NatWest T20 Blast. In the match, the Pears won the toss and they elected to bowl first.
However, the Northern side got an amazing start as Micheal Carberry and skipper James Vince smashed a few brilliant shots to kickstart the innings in their style. Eventually, Vince scored a ton in the match as his side gave the Pears a target of 197. As the second inning was about to commence, rain interrupted the play.
Thus, after a few hours of rain and thunderstorms, the match got underway again and according to the DLS method, Worcestershire had to score 76 runs in 8.1 overs. However, they eventually failed to reach the target on the partially wet pitch as they managed to score 58 runs. Moreover, James Vince was named the player of the match for his brilliant 107-run innings in just 65 deliveries. Thus, Hampshire might have an upper tactical hand on their opponents with Vince still being their skipper.
James Vince (Hampshire): Hampshire’s skipper, James Vince has been their lynchpin yet. The 32-year-old has scored a total of 638 runs this season, and he’s also the top scorer of the 2023 T20 Blast. Moreover, he has also scored a ton and seven half-centuries in a total of 14 appearances.
Thus, the stats speak enough about his consistency on the big stage. Nevertheless, when it comes to batting, the English batter has been carrying the whole side on his shoulders. Hence, his wicket will be the most crucial for the Pears as they have to dismiss Vince in order to restrict Hampshire from reaching a big total
Mitchell Santner (Worcestershire): Mitchell Santner has been magical for Worcestershire in this edition of the T20 Blast yet. The Blackcaps all-rounder has proved his brilliance in batting as well as bowling for the Pears. Moreover, since the last three matches, he has been batting exceptionally well in the third spot.
Consequently, he has played only 11 matches this season, however, he has managed to score 391 runs (second highest scorer for Worcestershire) and also take 11 wickets, with his best figures being 2/19. Thus, Santner will be an important figure in the Pears’ match against Hampshire.
Hampshire: James Vince ©, Ben McDermott (wk), Tom Prest, Joe Weatherley, Ross Whiteley, Liam Dawson, James Fuller, Benny Howell, Chris Wood, Nathan Ellis, John Turner
Worcestershire: Brett D’Oliveira ©, Jack Haynes, Mitchell Santner, Adam Hose, Kashif Ali, Ben Cox (wk), Ed Pollock, Usman Mir, Josh Tongue, Pat Brown, Dillion Pennington
Hampshire, as well as Worcestershire, have given valiant performances to triumph a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2023 T20 Blast. However, only one team can advance to the last four of the limited-overs competition. Thus, playing in a favorable situation, Hampshire is in better form to triumph in a semifinal spot.