ALL-ROUNDER Liam Dawson believes Hampshire have put right their faltering start to the T20 Blast campaign by playing “brave, clever cricket.”
The Hawks were beaten in their first four contests in the South Group but have since responded to move into the top four following seven victories out of eight.
Friday night’s nine-run win at Gloucestershire ensured they moved two points clear of fifth-placed Glos, with the sides set to do battle again at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.
With two games of their group campaign in the short format remaining, a top-four place would take Hampshire into the quarter-finals, and one step from a place at finals day.
Asked what confidence was like following the side’s response, having lost their first four games, Dawson said: “That’s why we are lucky that we have 14 games. It’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish.
“I think if you look at last year, we probably left it a little too tight but this year we’ve put it right.
“After the first four games we’ve played brave, clever cricket and that’s shown in our past six or seven games. We are on a good run now.”
Asked what he felt Hampshire needed to produce from their final two group games to ensure they progressed, 32-year-old Dawson replied: “I think if you win two-out of two you could potentially get a top-two finish. One (win), you are probably in, but you never know with run-rate.
“If we look at last year we snuck in through the back door due to run-rate. We have just got to keep playing good cricket, be confident and take it into Friday.”
Dawson himself scored an unbeaten 20 to help the Hawks reach 178 for seven at Bristol, before picking up one for 30 from his four overs to help restrict the hosts to 169 for seven.
But the England international insisted it would not be an easy task to repeat another victory over Gloucestershire when the sides meet later this week.
“We know they are a dangerous team. They are a good team. We know they will come to Southampton and scrap for everything,” said Dawson.
“We have got to be on it again. We have got to come, be brave and try to get another two points.”
Hampshire today started day one of their County Championship clash with Essex at Chelmsford.