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Royals hunt Scottish success

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Hampshire Royals are set to name an unchanged team for their first home match in defence of their Yorkshire Bank 40 crown against Scottish Saltires at the Ageas Bowl.

The Royals have no injury problems following their comprehensive win against Essex Eagles at Chelmsford on Friday but do have the option of including paceman David Balcombe, who comes into the 13-man squad, and wicketkeeper-batsman Michael Bates.

Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams said: “We've had good results against Scotland in the past but you do not want to underestimate them.

“We're at our place and we've played good cricket at the Ageas Bowl but we've got to start again in many ways.

James Vince

Hampshire Royals opener James Vince hit 129 from 93 balls as the visitors romped to a nine-wicket win at Essex Eagles on Friday

“Sometimes you can ride too much on the crest of a wave - sure, you want to take the confidence in but we've got to start again and do the hard work to try and dominate them from the off.”

The Saltires will be led out by Preston Mommsen after Gordon Drummond stepped down as captain of the side on Thursday morning.

Matt Machan may be available for the away side, depending on whether or not he is selected by Sussex Sharks in their opening fixture against Worcestershire Royals.

Yorkshire Vikings captain Andrew Gale has hinted Richard Pyrah may be given his first start of the season against Glamorgan after impressing for the second XI, but Ryan Sidebottom will be rested as the White Rose try to manage his workload.

Moin Ashraf, Will Rhodes and Ian Wardlaw have also been included in the matchday squad for the first time this campaign with Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root set to play their last games for the county before heading off to represent England Lions.

Gale said: “Rich Pyrah has been performing well over the past couple of weeks in the second team, he’s bowled well.

“He will be chomping at the bit to get in the side. He is a three-dimensional cricketer, so he is unlucky not have been in the first team so far.”

Durham Dynamos skipper Dale Benkenstein is looking forward to seeing the continued improvement of his team as they host Essex Eagles.

He said: "We have a very tough pool with the champions Hampshire. There will be no easy games but it is about how we play. If we can play more consistent cricket then we will find ourselves pushing for the top spots.”

Elsewhere, Northamptonshire Steelbacks host Nottinghamshire Outlaws and Somerset face the Unicorns.

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