HAMPSHIRE head coach Adi Birrell admitted youngster Scott Currie "really excites me" after his impressive first-class debut this week.

The Poole-born 19-year-old was playing Minor Counties cricket for Dorset last year, but has now been propelled into the Hants first team, featuring in Twenty20 and four-day matches this season.

Currie scored 38 with the bat in his first innings and also took three wickets against Kent in the Bob Willis Trophy, including removing England man Zak Crawley.

Crawley responded in the second innings to hit a match-winning 94-ball century as Hampshire went on to lose the contest by seven wickets.

But Currie's display caught the eye of the coach.

Birrell said: "Scott Currie, he really excites me. He’s an England under-19 international. He batted really well for 38 when we were struggling on the first day and shaped up like a top-order batter.

“His match highlight was getting Crawley leg before early on day two. He’s made his debut now in both formats and will take a lot out of this performance.”

Hampshire scored 350 from their two innings, setting Kent a target of 181 for victory, something Kent made light work of in Canterbury.

Discussing his side's second innings struggles, Birrell continued: "Margins are very small when you’re bowling at an international player of Crawley’s calibre. He put us under pressure and it showed.

"That can happen sometimes and the game just seems to rush away from you as a result.

"For most of the match we were in the match and even when we were 23 for five, we showed great character and guts from our young team to set them a target in excess of 180 to win. They fought very well against a seasoned attack.

"We came unstuck, but we’ve learned a lot about some of our younger lads. Brad Wheal had a decent start to his career but has been injured for a long time. I think he spent 800 days between first-class games, so we’re thrilled to have him back.

"He had to take time to build his belief that his body could be resilient again.

"This was Tom Scriven’s second game and, walking in at 23 for five, he and McManus showed a lot of guts and mettle to put on an 85-run partnership. He showed he can play at this level."