About the Match
The South group was comparatively lopsided last year and so it will be an interesting matchup to see how things pan out when Glamorgan take Hampshire. Glamorgan, of course, finished runner-up in their group while Hampshire finished second from the bottom. With reinforcements and changes to both teams, this match will be closer than it appears to be.
The Glamorgan side has a distinctly South African flavor to it as it is led by Jacques Rudolph and has Colin Ingram and Merchant de Lange as Kolpak players. The latter two were very much in the scheme of international cricket, however, that loss is set to be Glamorgan’s gain.
A massive part of last year’s success was built on the batting performances of Colin Ingram as he became the second highest scorer in the competition with 502 runs at a strike rate of 164.59. He also thrashed a staggering 29 sixes in the tournament, more than any other player comfortably.
Providing him support in the batting department was David Lloyd (382 runs) and Aneurin Donald (235 runs), both of whom are a part of the squad this year as well. Rudolph himself had a poor year by his standards scoring only 210 runs with a highest score of 40 not out and would be hoping to improve his record this time around.
Dale Steyn lent a lot of gravitas to the Glamorgan bowling attack but he will be replaced by Merchant de Lange this year, not entirely a bad thing considering the latter's T20 prowess. The leading wicket taker for the side last year Timm van der Gugten will once again shoulder the responsibility of taking wickets for his side.
The Glamorgan side is a batting heavy department that may find it difficult to win if Ingram does not show the same kind of form that he did last year.
After making the semi-finals in 2015, Hampshire had a horror season last year. None of their batsmen scored 300 runs or more in the competition and only one bowler was able to take wickets in the double figures.
That bowler, Liam Dawson, will be away on England duty rendering another significant blow to the team. Hampshire has made some canny buys before this tournament in the form of George Bailey, a more than useful middle order batsman and Fidel Edwards, the West Indian fast bowler with a happy knack of taking wickets.
They also have Shahid Afridi in their team, the evergreen Pakistani whose bowling is dependable and batting mercurial. Ryan McClaren is also no longer a part of the team but to be fair he did not have much of an impact in the last game either.
Hampshire is led by James Vince, a very capable T20 batsman himself, who only played 5 matches for them last season. Michael Carberry is another former England international that will be adding to the batting quality of the team.
The biggest addition, though, in our opinion is Kyle Abbott on a Kolpak deal. He was ripping through international sides before deciding to leave international cricket and will provide a sharp cutting edge to the Hampshire bowling attack.
This is a side which is an improved side in all aspects and can be expected to do better this year.
Pitch and Conditions
A beautiful day is forecast for Friday at Cardiff. Rain, though, is never too far away in this part of the world. The pitch at Sophia Gardens is excellent for batting but the ball can move around on a cloudy day.
Hampshire To Wi