Essex’s Wheater delighted with Natwest T20 Blast win
PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 August 2017
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Adam Wheater admitted it felt good to score a half-century to help Essex to victory over Hampshire in the Natwest T20 Blast on Friday night.
Wheater, opening the innings against his former club, hit four sixes and four fours in his 26-ball 50 as the Eagles sealed a four-wicket win with two balls remaining.
And victory keeps their outside chances of a quarter-final place alive, leaving them two points off the top four in the south group with six matches still to play.
Wheater said: “It was a good win and a needed win, potentially if we hadn’t won this we could have been out if it.
“It was nice to score a half century here. I would like to say thanks to them for putting up with me for four years.
“With what we have in the middle order it would be criminal for me to go out there and not try and give it a whack because it could be wasted.
“Sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn’t but to go on from the little starts to a bigger start was pleasing.
“It is a tight group, we are still bottom but we are not far off third. If games go our way we will see where we are.”
Ashar Zaidi (2-24) and Mohammad Amir (2-43) nabbed braces as Hampshire reached 168-6 at the Ageas Bowl, with George Bailey hitting an unbeaten 89.
But Varun Chopra (30 off 16), Dan Lawrence (20 off 22), Zaidi (21 off 17) and James Foster, who hit an unbeaten 33 off 25 balls, combined well to see Essex to their target.
Hampshire director of cricket Giles White added: “I thought 168 was defendable, we thought it was a good score.
“George Bailey played particularly well, he played a very intelligent innings and gave us a chance.
“Essex played very well in the powerplay and got a bit of luck with the ball landing in gaps.
“Although it was close they were always ahead of the game.
“Adam’s innings was very good, we know him very well and he’s scored some bright innings for us over the years.
“He came out and played well out the powerplay which was the right way to go about things and played some great shots.
“I follow him from a distance and it has looked like a tough season in some ways but he has scored a couple of good scores against us.
“When he was with us he did similar against Essex so maybe there is something in that!”
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