Hampshire relying on runs of James Vince and reliability of Liam Dawson for better Blast campaign

T20 BLAST PREVIEW: Vince's returns with bat in hand will be crucial for a Hampshire side that endured a horror season in last year's competition and looks short on wicket-taking bowlers

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Coach: Adrien Birrell

Captain: James Vince

Overseas: Chris Morris

Last season: 8th in South Division

How did they do last year?

Hampshire finished 8th in the South Division, winning just two of their matches and tying one game against Essex. Their success in the Royal London One-Day Cup glossed over what was a very poor showing in the shorter format.

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England's James Vince has a fine record in domestic T20 cricket

Who are their key players?

James Vince: Although Vince always seems to struggle in an England shirt, he oozes class at the crease for Hampshire. All timing and grace, he can score beautiful runs quickly. A relatively poor return by his own high standards last year, but lucrative franchise contracts are proof of his ability.

Liam Dawson: A very useful allrounder, consistently near the top of the averages for both batting and bowling, he can be a destructive force in the middle overs with bat in hand and rarely gets hit for much over a run a ball with his slow left-arm spin.

Chris Morris: The South African allrounder is a very useful addition to the squad. He has excellent variations when bowling, making him hard to get away at the death and his long leavers mean no ground is too big for him to clear the boundary on a consistent basis.

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What are their biggest strengths?

The top order is their strength. Vince, too, if he gets going and can bat deep and score quickly, will give his side an enormous lift. Sam Northeast averages over 30 in T20 cricket and will be looking to improve on a lean year in 2018.

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Sam Northeast, alongside Vince, may hold the key for Hampshire's batting

Where might they have a weakness?

There’s a lack of real pace - perhaps, beyond that of James Fuller - in their bowling attack. Chris Wood’s medium pace is always very effective and the addition of South African all-rounder Chris Morris is a canny one, but the lack of a true strike bowler could be their undoing.

They may be able to squeeze teams and control run rate but taking enough wickets consistently could be a problem.

Chances of reaching Finals Day?

They’ve got players that can win games single-handedly, but don’t have the depth in batting or bowling to mount any significant challenge.

Strongest XI (with T20 Player Index ratings): James Vince (108), Aneurin Donald (394), Tom Alsop (475), Rilee Rossouw (94), Sam Northeast (377), Chris Morris (56), Liam Dawson (54), Chris Wood (375), Kyle Abbott (323), James Fuller (391), Mason Crane (702)

Fixtures: Jul 19 - Sussex (h), Jul 21 - Kent (h), Jul 24 - Sussex (a), Jul 26 - Somerset (a), Aug 1 - Essex (a), Aug 2 - Glamorgan (h), Aug 4 - Kent (a), Aug 9 - Somerset (h), Aug 13 - Gloucestershire (a), Aug 16 - Surrey (h), Aug 16 - Sussex (h), Aug 22 - Middlesex (a), Aug 25 - Essex (h), Aug 29 - Middlesex (h), Aug 30 - Glamorgan (a)

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