Blast off? It's no more than a damp squib for Sussex and Hants

A picture that tells the story of the night as rain ruins the Vitality Blast opener at  the Ageas Bowl / Picture by Dave Vokes Photography
A picture that tells the story of the night as rain ruins the Vitality Blast opener at the Ageas Bowl / Picture by Dave Vokes Photography

Last year’s losing finalists Sussex Sharks were made to wait to get their Vitality Blast challenge underway as their scheduled opener with Hampshire was washed out.

There had been hope of play starting at the Ageas Bowl, despite a day of heavy rain on the south coast, after a toss had been made.

Sussex skipper Luke Wright had won the delayed toss and elected to bowl first in a re-jigged 14 overs-a-side match.

But soon before the scheduled start time of 8.15pm the rain returned and any chance of any action was ended at 8.45pm by umpires Graham Lloyd and David Millns.

Wright had been set to hand former Hampshire fast bowler Reece Topley his Sussex debut – after the England man had recovered from his fourth stress fracture in his back.

Hampshire were set to include South African all-rounder Chris Morris for the first time, while winter recruits Aneurin Donald and James Fuller would have made their T20 bows for the club.

The Sharks are aiming to go one better than 2018 having been defeated by five wickets by Worcestershire at Edgbaston.

They finished third in the South Group last season after winning seven of their 14 fixtures, including an annihilation of Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl last season.

On the other hand, Hampshire endured their worst T20 performance in over a decade as they languished second from bottom of the division.

Hampshire go to Hove on Wednesday evening for the second part of ‘El Clasicoast’ – which is Sussex’s next outing.