Glenn Maxwell returns to the scene of one of his most explosive innings for Hampshire tomorrow desperate to end his run of low scores.
The big-hitting Australian all-rounder returned to the Ageas Bowl ahead of the current NatWest t20 Blast season fresh from a great Indian Premier League campaign.
Maxwell finished as the IPL’s third top scorer with 554 runs at 34.50, and four times he was out within sight of a century.
The Kings XI Punjab star twice belted 95 and was also out for 90 and 89.
Hampshire could therefore be forgiven for expecting big things of Maxwell in 2014.
But he has yet to hit anything resembling his IPL form.
Dismissed for just a single in last Friday’s dramatic win against Sussex, Maxwell has just 91 runs from nine t20 Blast innings to his name at a paltry average of 10.11.
In all, his scores for Hampshire have been 7, 21, 30, 5, 4, 13, 0, 10 and 1.
Tomorrow, Hampshire conclude their South group qualifying campaign with a trip to Chelmsford to face leaders Essex.
Two years ago Maxwell produced an explosive innings to carry Hampshire to victory at the same venue.
He smashed an unbeaten 60 from just 24 deliveries as the visitors overhauled their opponents’ total of 176 for four with six wickets and 12 balls to spare.
Thirty came in one over from left-arm spinner Tim Phillips, the 17th of the innings. Maxwell smashed him for three sixes, all of which went out of the ground, and went on to to win the match with his fourth maximum, a mighty blow over midwicket off Graham Napier.
That breathtaking knock came just a few days after Maxwell plundered a match-winning 66 from 32 balls in the victory over Kent.
Last Friday’s six-run win against Sussex assured Hampshire of a sixth successive t20 quarter-final spot.
They could still snatch the runners-up place, which would assure them of a home tie in the last eight.
But for that to happen they would need to beat Essex tomorrow and then hope Surrey flop in their final two games.
Surrey’s final matches take place against lowly Middlesex at Lord’s on Thursday and at Canterbury 24 hours later.
Essex remain on course to win the group despite a surprise loss to Gloucestershire yesterday.