Hampshire – 2017 Season Review

The 2017 season saw Hampshire reach Finals Day of the NatWest T20 Blast, as well as pulling off final day heroics in the Specsavers County Championship to avoid relegation.

After six successive Finals Day appearances, Hampshire were eliminated in the group stage in 2016, but 2017 saw them return to the top table of T20 cricket.

Their team for this year’s competition was packed full of international talent, enabling them to finish third in the South Group and qualify for the quarter-finals.

A top order consisting of England’s James Vince, former Australia limited-overs skipper George Bailey and hard-hitting South African Rilee Rossouw gave Hampshire plenty of firepower. This combined with the occasional brilliance of the mercurial Shahid Afridi meant that big totals were a regular feature from their 20 overs.

The bowling attack wasn’t too shabby either. England spinners Liam Dawson and Mason Crane contributed 32 wickets throughout the competition. South Africa seamer Kyle Abbott took 17 wickets, with Afridi, Reece Topley and Gareth Berg offering more variety to an incredibly strong bowling attack.

Seven victories was enough to reach the last eight, where a century from Afridi helped Hampshire overcome Derbyshire to confirm their place at Edgbaston. Unfortunately, their run came to an end in the semi-finals, as Hampshire lost to eventual winners Notts Outlaws by 23 runs.

There were a number of standout performances in the Royal London One-Day Cup in 2017 with Bailey, Vince, Rossouw and Tom Alsop all scoring centuries in the competition.

Crane was again in the thick of the wicket-taking action as he claimed 14 scalps, but three victories from eight matches was ultimately not enough to secure a place in the knockout stages.

Division One of the County Championship saw one of the closest relegation battles in history. The top end of the table was dominated by Essex, who secured the title for the first time in a quarter of a century with ease.

But the bottom end of the division saw a four-way fight to avoid joining Warwickshire in Division Two next season, and it all came down to the last game of the season.

After an underwhelming campaign, Hampshire needed to avoid defeat against Warwickshire to escape from relegation, and a defensive batting masterclass on the final day ensured that Hampshire stayed up at the expense of Middlesex.

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