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Shah set for Hampshire bow

Hampshire will hand a debut to Owais Shah against Sussex Sharks in the NatWest T20 Blast at the County Ground.

The 35-year-old signed for the county on a game-by-game contract earlier this week.

He bolsters a Hampshire side without Michael Carberry and Liam Dawson due to England duty and a groin injury respectively. Meanwhile, all-rounder Chris Wood and spinner Brad Taylor have been included in the squad.

Sussex are without Chris Jordan as he participates in the Royal London One-Day Series, while Matt Prior looks set to miss out again with an Achilles problem.

Essex Eagles must also make do without England internationals Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara versus Glamorgan at the Essex County Ground.

The Welsh side have brought in David Lloyd, Tom Helm and Michael Hogan for Stewart Walters, Graham Wagg and Ruaidhri Smith.

Another side hampered by an international call-up are Middlesex Panthers, who will be without limited-overs star Eoin Morgan when they take on Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Steven Finn also may not be available for the visitors, while Gloucestershire’s Gareth Roderick will be sidelined for six weeks with a thumb injury.

Kent Spitfires will begin their sprint-format campaign at Taunton against Somerset without the injured Mark Davies. James Tredwell also misses out because he is with England.

“We are keen to start the new competition on a winning note,” said head coach Jimmy Adams. “It is an intense competition so we don’t want to slip off the pace early in the season.”

 NatWest T20 Blast Facts

  • Gloucestershire have won all four of their Twenty20 matches against Middlesex, despite losing the toss in each.
  • Somerset have won three and lost one of their four completed Twenty20 matches against Kent. Their 84-run win in June 2010 was their fifth largest run-margin win in domestic T20s.
  • After losing the first meeting in 2010, Essex have won the three subsequent Twenty20 matches against Glamorgan. All four games were won by the chasing team.
  • Hampshire have won the last five completed Twenty20 meetings with Sussex and 10 of the 17 meetings overall.
  • The highest English Twenty20 innings total was recorded by Gloucestershire against Middlesex – they scored 254-3 at Uxbridge in June 2011.

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